How Minnesota voted: A look back at the 2016, 2018 election results

How Minnesota voted: A look back at the 2016, 2018 election results
KEYC takes a look back at how Minnesotans voted in the 2016 and 2018 elections. (Source: KEYC)

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — With less than seven days until the 2020 general election, KEYC takes a look back at how voters across the state voted in the two most recent elections in 2016 and 2018.

The 2020 general election will be unique in its own right, as it will be taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means more voters across the nation will be turning to alternate methods to cast their vote.

In fact, data from The Associated Press shows that, as of Tuesday, Oct. 27, early voting in Minnesota had surpassed early voting from 2016 by a staggering 193%.

2016 General Election


The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election centered around Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican candidate Donald Trump, right.
The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election centered around Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican candidate Donald Trump, right. (Source: AP)

The 2016 Presidential Election saw Democrat-endorsed candidate Hillary Clinton go toe-to-toe with Republican-endorsed candidate Donald Trump.

Minnesota, which has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1972, has 10 electoral votes and was a state that former President Barack Obama won by 7.7 percentage points in 2012.

The 2016 Presidential Election was the closest Republicans have come to winning back the state since 1972, with Trump losing by 1.5 percentage points.

The full breakdown between the two candidates is as follows:

Candidate (Running Mate) Party Total Votes Pct.
Hillary Clinton (Tim Kaine) Dem. 1,367,716 46.44%
Donald Trump (Mike Pence) Rep. 1,322,951 44.92%

U.S. House

The 2016 general election has been close for many years, first in 2016 and then again in 2018.

In 2016, however, future Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the incumbent, narrowly defeated Jim Hagedorn in Minnesota’s First Congressional District, winning by less than one percentage point.

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Tim Walz DFL 169,074 50.34%
Jim Hagedorn Rep. 166,526 49.58%
WRITE-IN WI 277 0.08%

Minnesota State Senate

All Minnesota State Senate districts within the KEYC viewing area voted for the Republican candidate in 2016, leaving only Senate Districts 19 and 27 to the Democrats.

Neither party controlled the Senate after the 2016 election, as the Senate consisted of 32 candidates from the DFL and Republican parties.

Minnesota State House

Like the Senate, voters in 2016 elected primarily Republican candidates in the KEYC viewing area, leaving only House Districts 19A, 19B and 20B to the Democrats.

EDITOR’S NOTE: House District 32B (shaded in gray in the interactive map below) is designated this way because it did not participate in the 2016 general election.

In September 2016, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that incumbent Republican Bob Barrett was an ineligible candidate in the general election because he did not live in House District 32B. He stayed on the general ballot, but the results were not certified.

A special election was conducted on Feb. 14, 2017, to determine the winner of House District 32B.

The Republican Party of Minnesota, also referred to as the MN GOP, had seven days after the November general election to appoint a replacement candidate for Barrett that would run on the special election ballot. They selected Anne Neu.

The results of the special election are as follows, with elections results from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office:

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Anne E. Neu Rep. 3,789 53.22%
Laurie Warner DFL 3,327 46.73%

Constitutional Amendment — Legislative Party

The Constitutional Amendment to remove the ability of lawmakers to set their own pay passed overwhelmingly.

Yes No Yes %
2,265,835 536,272 76.33%

2018 State General Election

The 2018 general election in Minnesota was headlined by U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who resigned from Congress after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

U.S. House

Like in 2016, Minnesota’s First Congressional District was a very close race in 2018.

Incumbent Democrat Tim Walz decided not to run in this race in 2018, opting to instead run for governor.

Jim Hagedorn, the Republican challenger to Walz in 2016, was able to get enough votes to defeat DFL challenger Dan Feehan by less than one percentage point.

Hagedorn and Feehan are squaring off again in the 2020 general election Tuesday, Nov. 3.

U.S. Senate

Amy Klobuchar defeated Republican challenger Jim Newberger by 24 percentage points to earn a third consecutive term as U.S. Senator.

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Amy Klobuchar DFL 1,566,174 60.31%
Jim Newberger Rep. 940,437 36.21%

U.S. Senate Special Election

Tina Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate by former Gov. Mark Dayton in Dec. 2017, and she later ran in the special election to fill the seat through the end of Franken’s initial term — which expires Jan. 3, 2021.

Smith was challenged by Republican-endorsed candidate Karin Housely, but would go on to defeat Housley by nine percentage points.

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Tina Smith DFL 1,370,540 52.97%
Karin Housley Rep. 1,095,777 42.35%

Minnesota State House

The Democrats won control of the House after the 2018 general election, picking up 75 seats to the Republicans' 59.

In the KEYC viewing area, voters primarily elected Republican candidates, leaving only House Districts 19A, 19B and 20B to the Democrats.

Minnesota Governor

Former U.S. Rep. Tim Walz launched a campaign to become the next governor of Minnesota following the 2018 general election.

Walz had selected Peggy Flanagan as his running mate.

Candidate (Running Mate) Party Votes Pct.
Tim Walz (Peggy Flanagan) DFL 1,393,096 53.84%
Jeff Johnson (Donna Bergstrom) Rep. 1,097,705 42.43%

Minnesota Secretary of State

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Steve Simon DFL 1,328,502 52.25%
John Howe Rep. 1,109,093 43.62%

Minnesota State Auditor

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Julie Blaha DFL 1,250,524 49.35%
Pam Myhra Rep. 1,095,310 43.23%

Minnesota Attorney General

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Keith Ellison DFL 1,249,407 48.96%
Doug Wardlow Rep. 1,150,459 45.08%

KEYC will be bringing continuous election coverage Tuesday, with live-results available in real-time on

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