Looking back at Minnesota's past presidential candidates
Sen. Amy Klobuchar not only enters an increasingly crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field, but also joins the ranks of previous Minnesota politicians who competed in America's biggest political contest.
While Minnesota historically counts two vice presidents among its native sons, its presidential candidates haven't fared very well, despite some kind of participation in several races for the office since the 1940s.
Klobuchar is a popular senator, as evidenced by her polling and dominant election victories, including 2018's 60 percent vote share. How her local popularity translates to the national stage remains to be seen.
Here's how the past presidential candidacies of Minnesota's major politicians have performed throughout time:
Aside from being Minnesota's 25th governor, Harold Stassen was also known as a perennial presidential candidate, running no fewer than 10 times for the office from 1944 to 1992 — and rarely getting very far in the process.
His strongest bid came in 1948 after a streak of upset Republican primary victories against Thomas E. Dewey.
Not all states held primaries back then, and Stassen eventually lost the nomination to Dewey at the convention. Dewey, in turn, was defeated by Harry S. Truman for the presidency that year.
|Earl Warren (r, ca)||771,295||27%|
|Harold Stassen (r, mn)||627,321||22%|
|Robert Taft (r, oh)||464,741||16%|
|✓||Thomas Dewey (r, ny)||330,799||12%|
|Riley Bender (r, il)||324,029||11%|
|Leverette Saltonstall (r, ma)||72,191||3%|
|Herbert Hitchcock (r, sd)||45,463||2%|
After representing Minnesota in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Eugene McCarthy ran for president several times. McCarthy's most famous campaign was his attempt to primary President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.
The primary was thrown into chaos when Johnson declined to seek a second term, which led to another Minnesotan, U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, being granted the nomination at the convention.
McCarthy ran for president again in 1972 and 1992 as a Democrat, and as an independent in 1976 and 1988. He didn't get very far any of those races.
|Eugene McCarthy (d, mn)||2,914,933||39%|
|Robert Kennedy (d, ny)||2,305,148||31%|
|Stephen M. Young (d, oh)||549,140||7%|
|Lyndon B. Johnson (d, tx)||383,590||5%|
|George Smathers (d, fl)||236,242||3%|
Hubert H. Humphrey
Though born in South Dakota, Hubert Humphrey is among Minnesota's most well-known politicians for, among other things, helping found the Democratic Farmer-Labor party and serving as the state's U.S. Senator.
Humphrey ran for president a couple times in 1952 and 1960, became Johnson's running mate in 1964, then made another run in 1972. But he only ever secured his party's presidential nomination once.
Despite entering too late to campaign in the chaotic 1968 primaries, then-Vice President Humphrey won that year's presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention.
Minnesota is among the most reliably Democratic states in the union during presidential election years, with the state only voting for Republicans three times since the 1930s. Though Humphrey carried his home state, he still lost to Richard Nixon.
|✓||Richard Nixon (r, ca)||301||43.4%|
|Hubert Humphrey (d, mn)||191||42.7%|
|George Wallace (d, al)||46||13.5%|
After a long career in politics, which included serving as Minnesota's attorney general and then U.S. Senator, Walter Mondale ultimately became Jimmy Carter's vice president before winning the Democratic nomination for president in 1984.
That year, Minnesota continued its long history of Democratic voting (by a small margin) and was the only state, along with the District of Columbia, won by Mondale in his landslide loss to Ronald Reagan.
|✓||Ronald Reagan (r, ca)||525||59%|
|Walter Mondale (d, mn)||13||41%|
Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty declared his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination in 2011, but dropped out less than three months later after finishing third in the Ames Straw Poll.
Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won that same poll with a quarter of the votes. Bachmann then finished sixth in the Iowa caucuses, prompting her to leave the race – though she remained on most ballots before Super Tuesday.
Both Bachmann and Pawlenty eventually endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination, which he won. Romney was later defeated by President Barack Obama in the general election.
|✓||Mitt Romney (r, ma)||1,575||52%|
|Rick Santorum (r, pa)||245||20%|
|Ron Paul (r, tx)||177||10%|
|Newt Gingrich (r, ga)||138||14%|
|John Huntsman (r, ut)||2||0%|
|Michele Bachmann (r, mn)||1||0%|
|Tim Pawlenty (r, mn)||0||0%|