For the first time since 1914, both Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries in Minnesota were decided by less than 10 points. On Tuesday, DFL Congressman Tim Walz defeated state Representative Erin Murphy by 9.6 points while Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson beat former Governor Tim Pawlenty by 8.7 points on the Republican side. Prior to Johnson’s gubernatorial nomination victories in 2014 (by 6.4 points against Kurt Zellers) and 2018, the last GOP primary for governor decided by single digits was in 1924 when state Representative Theodore Christianson beat Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Ole Jacobson by 2.8 points. In 1914, former state legislator William Lee defeated Governor Adolph Eberhart in the GOP primary by 8.4 points while Congressman Winfield Hammond eked out a 2.2-point win against St. Paul Mayor Daniel Lawler on the Democratic ballot.

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