Minnesota Democratic Party
The Minnesota Democratic Party was a political party in Minnesota that existed from the formation of Minnesota Territory in 1849 until 1944, when the party merged with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party to form the modern Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
|Merged into||Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party|
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
In the first two years after Minnesota's admission into the Union in 1858, the Minnesota Democratic Party was briefly the dominant party in the state; however, the 1860 presidential election and the Civil War dealt a devastating blow to the party from which it never really recovered. Between 1860 and 1918, the Minnesota Democratic Party was a distant second party to the dominant Republican Party. During that period, Democrats held the office of Governor of Minnesota for a grand total of seven years, never controlled either chamber of the Minnesota Legislature, and Minnesota never cast a single electoral vote in favor of a Democratic presidential nominee.
Following the establishment of the Farmer-Labor Party in 1918, the Minnesota Democratic Party was relegated to third party status, as the Farmer-Laborites became the primary opposition to the Republicans. During the 1930s, a political alliance between Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson and President Franklin D. Roosevelt bred closer cooperation between the Farmer-Laborites and the Democrats. With a large backing from Farmer-Laborites, Roosevelt became the first Democrat ever to win Minnesota's electoral votes in 1932, and went on to win the state in each of his re-election bids. In the 1936 gubernatorial election the Democratic Party opted not to run its own candidate for Governor, endorsing Farmer-Labor candidate Elmer Austin Benson instead.
After the Farmer-Laborites' spectacular fall from power in the 1938 general election, there was increasing pressure from the national Democratic Party for a merger between the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer-Labor Party. In spite of substantial minorities in both parties continuing to oppose merging, the majority in the Farmer-Labor Party led by former-Governor Benson and the slim majority of the Minnesota Democratic Party led by future-Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey ultimately concluded such a merger in 1944, creating the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
- In each of his three appearances on the general election ballot for Governor, John Lind ran at the head of a coalition consisting of the Democratic Party, the Silver Republican Party, and the majority faction of the People's Party, and his party affiliation is listed as "P/DSR" (Populist/Democratic Silver Republican) in the list of Minnesota Governors compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.
- In 1936, the Democratic Party did not field a gubernatorial nominee, instead opting to support Farmer-Labor nominee Elmer Austin Benson.