Minnesota’s Protest Vote, 2012 vs 2016

Our resident cartographer, Miles Coleman, sent over a few maps of the Land of 10,000 Lakes to me this past weekend highlighting the uptick in votes for third party candidates this past Presidential election. The state voted more Republican than the nation for the first time in seven decades, but still stayed (barely) in the blue column, voting for Hillary Clinton by just under 45,000 votes.

mn16Meanwhile, Jill Stein received almost 37,000 votes.

Evan McMullin, who ran on #NeverTrump Republican’s distaste for the now-President-Elect, received over 53,000.

Gary Johnson received over twice as many as McMullin, raking in almost 113,000 votes statewide.

Write-ins ranging from Bernie Sanders to actually declared candidates numbered over 27,000.

All told, over a quarter of a million Minnesotans voted neither for Trump nor Clinton, marking this the largest protest of the two-party option here in twenty years. Just four years prior, over 97.5% of ballots were cast for either President Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

2012_mn_thirdpartiesThis upsurge in protest voting was strongest in the Iron Range, which had been a Democratic stronghold for decades but which has seen a shift up and down the ballot in the last few cycles.