Although the number of candidates the Independence Party of Minnesota has been able to field in state legislative elections has fallen sharply during the past few election cycles, the Party enjoyed some personal bests in the 2008 elections.

At the top of the ticket, in the U.S. Senate race, the 15.2 percent won by Dean Barkley shattered the IP’s previous high mark of 5.8 percent by James Gibson in 2000 (and more than doubled Barkley’s 7.0 percent he received under the Reform Party banner in 1996).

While no Independence Party U.S. House candidate was able to eclipse Tammy Lee’s 21.0 percent mark in 2006’s 5th CD contest, two IP U.S. House candidates reached double digits for the first time in one election cycle: David Dillon received 10.6 percent in the 3rd CD and (non-IP endorsed) Bob Anderson won 10.0 percent in the 6th CD race. Only Lee and 2000 4th CD IP candidate Tom Foley (20.6 percent) had previously reached the double-digit mark.

In State House contests, the Independence Party fielded 10 candidates, slightly up from 9 candidates in 2006, but down from 27 in 2000, 26 in 2002, and 21 in 2004. The average support for IP candidates increased as well – from an all-time low of 5.7 percent in 2006 to 6.5 percent in 2008. The average vote for IP candidates is down from 9.9 percent in 2000, 10.3 percent in 2002, and 7.4 percent in 2004 in Minnesota House races.

Support for Independence Party Candidates in 2008 U.S. House Races

CD-01: Gregory Mikkelson = 4.5%
CD-03: David Dillon = 10.6%
CD-05: Bill McGaughey = 6.9%
CD-06: Bob Anderson = 10.0%

Support for Independence Party Candidates in 2008 State House Races
HD 01A: J.C. Carlson = 4.4%
HD 03A: W.D. Hamm = 5.9%
HD 04A: Sharatin Blake = 3.9%
HD 07B: Jay Cole = 6.9%
HD 11A: Dave Holman = 5.0%
HD 51A: Daniel William Sanders = 8.8%
HD 54B: Paul Gaston = 12.2%
HD 58B: Roger Smithrud = 6.3%
HD 59A: David Joseph Degrio = 4.0%
HD 59B: Ron Lischeid = 7.8%