The Ventura Legacy: Solidified and Stronger Third Parties

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The Ventura Legacy: Solidified and Stronger Third Parties

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2008-04-02

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Jesse Ventura ran in the 1998 governor’s election as a rebel intent on breaking the hold of the two party system on government. Yet, critics charged that Governor Ventura failed to convert his personal following into a lasting legacy of third party strength in Minnesota. Doug Grow blasted Ventura in a Star Tribune June 2002 column for “blowing a huge opportunity” and “giving almost nothing back” to the Independence Party while Jim Ragsdale predicted in a July 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story that Ventura’s legacy “won’t endure” in part because “party building” was not a priority. (Full Disclosure: Lawrence Jacobs voiced similar doubts.) The conventional wisdom is wrong or, at a minimum, requires a significant revision. Ventura’s successful campaign for governor in 1998 solidified and strengthened third parties in State and national elections in Minnesota. Although Ventura benefited from the history of third party success in Minnesota, his election campaign for governor expanded the number of state and national elections in which third party candidates won a significant number of votes.

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Center for Study of Politics and Governance Humphrey School of Public Affair University of Minnesota

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Ostermeier, Eric J.. (2008). The Ventura Legacy: Solidified and Stronger Third Parties. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/200527.

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