"In my opinion, once I saw what the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, there is a possibility that you wait and see what the statewide voter registration system says on the 15th of December. You know what, Mark Dayton needs to get started on business of governing this state," Emmer said.
A growing chorus of Republicans had come forward in recent days, expressing their doubt about Emmer's chances for a long-shot victory, making it increasingly difficult for him to justify a protracted challenge.
Dayton will become Minnesota's first Democratic governor in almost 20 years, winning in a year in which Republicans took control of both the state House and Senate.
"His victory is all the more impressive when you consider that he won in a tough climate," said DGA Chair Martin O'Malley of Dayton, in a statement to reporters.
Dayton's victory means Republicans will net a gain of 4 gubernatorial seats in the 2010 election. Republicans will control 29 seats, while Democrats will control 20. Rhode Island Gov.-elect Lincoln Chafee (I) will be the sole independent governor.
Emmer's decision ensures Dayton will take office on Jan. 3, meaning outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) will leave office as scheduled.
Dayton will hold a press conference later this afternoon.