1982 United States Senate election in Minnesota

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United States Senate election in Minnesota, 1982

← 1978 (special) November 2, 1982 1988 →
  DavidDurenberger.jpg Mark Dayton official photo.jpg
Nominee David Durenberger Mark Dayton
Party Independent-Republican DFL
Popular vote 949,207 840,401
Percentage 52.6% 46.6%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

David Durenberger

Elected U.S. Senator

David Durenberger

The 1982 United States Senate election in Minnesota was held on November 2, 1982. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator David Durenberger won re-election to his first full term.[1]

Dayton campaigning with former VP Walter Mondale.

Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary[edit]



Democratic primary election results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Mark Dayton 359,014 69.06%
DFL Eugene McCarthy 125,229 24.09%
DFL Charles E. Pearson 19,855 3.82%
DFL William A. Branstner 15,754 3.03%
Total votes 519,852 100.00%

Independent-Republican primary[edit]



Republican primary election results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independent-Republican David Durenberger (Incumbent) 287,651 94.38%
Independent-Republican Mary Jane Rachner 20,401 6.62%
Total votes 308,052 100.00%

General election[edit]


Dayton, 35, self-financed his campaign. Married to a Rockefeller and heir to a department store, his net worth was an estimated $30 million. Durenberger, who in 1978 and won the special election to finish the term of the late Hubert Humphrey , was largely unknown. He was considered a moderate, but supported Reagan's tax cuts. Dayton ran against Reaganomics. He has also campaigned against tax breaks for the wealthy and even promised "to close tax loopholes for the rich and the corporations—and if you think that includes the Daytons, you're right."[3] By the end of September, the senate election already became the most expensive election of all-time, with over $8 million being spent. Dayton spent over $5 million,[4] while Durenberger spent over $2 million.[5]


General election results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independent-Republican David Durenberger (Incumbent) 949,207 52.60%
DFL Mark Dayton 840,401 46.57%
Socialist Workers Bill Onasch 5,897 0.33%
Libertarian Frederick Hewitt 5,870 0.33%
New Union Party Jeffrey M. Miller 3,300 0.18%
Total votes 1,804,675 100.00%
Majority 108,806 6.03%
Turnout   67.65
Independent-Republican hold

See also[edit]