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Whither the Independence Party? -- guest editorial by Doug Rossinow

In recent years, Minnesota Democrats have gnashed their teeth over the Independence Party (IP). In 2008, Democrat Al Franken beat Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman in an historic squeaker; in that race, the IP’s Dean Barkley took 15% of the vote, and seemed to get more of it from Franken-leaning voters than from Coleman-leaners, making what might have been a relatively easy Franken victory an epic nail-biter. In the 6th U.S. Congressional District race, IP joke candidate Bob Anderson drew 10% of the vote, possibly preventing Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg from deposing the well-known incumbent, Republican Michele Bachmann.

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