Hoeven has now been elected by the #1 and #4 biggest margins in North Dakota U.S. Senate elections

In the 2016 U.S. Senate race in North Dakota, one-term Republican incumbent John Hoeven garnered more support than any candidate running in the 34 races held across the country this cycle.

Hoeven was one of four incumbents to receive more than 70 percent of the vote (78.6 percent) along with fellow GOPer John Thune of South Dakota (71.8 percent) and Democrats Brian Schatz of Hawaii (73.6 percent) and Chuck Schumer of New York (70.4 percent).

Hoeven also became the first Republican to be reelected to the chamber from North Dakota since Milton Young in 1974 and his victory was not only decisive, it was a record-breaking performance in the Peace Garden State.

Smart Politics reviewed the 39 general and special U.S. Senate elections held in North Dakota since 1914 and found that John Hoeven’s 61.5-point win last week was the biggest blowout in state history.

Hoeven received 78.6 percent of the vote in a four-candidate field that included a Democrat (State Representative Eliot Glassheim), a Libertarian (Robert Marquette), and an independent (James Germalic).

Glassheim garnered just 17.0 percent – the weakest showing by a Democratic nominee for the office in the state since J.J. Nygaard’s 7.3 percent in 1938.

Hoeven’s 61.5-point victory breaks an 88-year old North Dakota record, previously set in 1928 when incumbent Lynn Frazier defeated Democrat F.F. Burchard by 60.3 points.

Hoeven fell just shy of the 79.6 percent recorded by Frazier in that race for the largest support ever awarded to a North Dakota U.S. Senate nominee.

The former governor also holds the fourth most decisive U.S. Senate victory in North Dakota history with his 53.9-point win over State Senator Tracy Potter during his debut 2010 bid.

The most competitive race held for the office in North Dakota was Republican Milton Young’s 0.08-point victory in 1974 against former Governor William Guy en route to his sixth term in the chamber.


The average margin of victory for the office in the state has been 25.0 points over the last century with only seven of the 39 contests decided by single digits.

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  1. nikoli orr on November 17, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    1. This “blowout” win is arguably even more impressive and emphatic than the 1928 Lynn Frazier election, for at the time the state Democratic party was nearly 3 decades away from merging with the Non-Partisan League. Only after the fusion/merger of these two underdog parties did the Rough Rider State affiliate of the national (D) party begin electing politicos capable of winning statewide, such as Quentin Burdick, Kent Conrad, and Heidi Heitkamp.
    2. Paradoxically, had the D ticket won in MI, WI, and PA -and hence the election- Heitkamp may well be a lost cause for the ’18 cycle – or at best in the analogous predicament as “Mister Wheat” in the ’74 cycle.

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