« Conditions in SW Pennsylvania | Main | Once Again, Turnout is the Story »

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Up Next: Minnesota

Posted by DavidNYC

Next stop on the SSP tour is Minnesota. If you have any thoughts on the Democrats' chances there, please share `em.

Posted at 04:23 PM in Minnesota | Technorati


In the 2002 election, the Republicans took control of all the state-wide offices but one, won Paul Wellstone's senate seat, and narrowed the DFL's majority in the state senate to one seat.

Things sound bad, and the state is trending Republican, but 2002 was an unusual year coupled with DFL incompetence. The DFL nominated our own version of Bob Dole, MN Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, for governor, because it was his turn. Uninspiring and ineffectual would be the best way to describe him. There was a four-way race for Governor: Republican, DFL, Green, and Independence. As one Republican put it in a letter to the editor I read, "Pawlenty is running against three Demcorats. All he needs is for the 45% of the people who supported George W. Bush to vote for him, and he'll win." She was right.

And then, Paul Wellstone died, and that changed everything. The memorial backlash probably cost us the Senate seat and possibly other state-wide offices. The Governor's mansion was out of reach, anyway, but several of the other offices were very close.

There's no accounting for the incompetence of the state DFL, but 2004 will be different, if only because of the calendar.

There aren't any state-wide races, and there is a presidential election. Turnout for all voters will be high (Minnesota has among the highest turnout in the nation), so in a near 50/50 state, it's hard to boost the Democratic turnout much higher. But there is still room to grow, and ACT and SIEU will be targetting our state for voter reg. and GOTV.

Another hopeful sign is that John Kerry just beat Bush in a poll here.

The general mood among the circles I flow in is that people are pissed at Bush, and want him gone. We had 6% Nader turnout (including, ahem, yours truly) but with the anti-Bush sentiment, I doubt any but the hard-core Greens will vote thrid party. Narrow that to 3%, and we should keep this state.

Posted by: Luke Francl at January 31, 2004 01:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

From the Roots has a post on the situation in Minnesota.

Posted by: Luke Francl at February 3, 2004 02:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Oh my poor little state! The day Norman Coleman said he would do everything in his power to help paint the Mississippi river valley red I nearly cried. This horrifying idea was followed by the BC04 announcement to put their vile ads on in Minnesota at an intense level. In pure practical terms Minnesota has taken a drastic turn to the right. We have, however, not actually. The recent republican successes have been partially an anomaly, and partially the work of a very committed core of about 60,000 extreme religious activists, that have taken over the party, in conjunction with the new 800-pound gorilla in the MN-GOP, the taxpayers league of Minnesota. In essence it is the unification of suburbia, and the party���s policies have begun to reflect that. They���ve changed the 20-year plan of the metro area to suit suburban life and have drastically cut spending in rural Minnesota. To get back to the presidential election, Minnesotans went for Gore by a couple percentage points, but they also backed Nader in large numbers, relatively. This year we can, I think, nearly eliminate the Nader factor (he will face hurdles financially and otherwise running as an independent, that he would not have had as a green). Also there is evidence to suggest that in 2002 the DFL had one of its worst get-out-the-vote efforts to date, while the GOP had one of its best. Furthermore the presidential years have always leaned more towards the DFL (since the days of the Farmer-Labor party in the 30���s). Kerry will win the state by about 5-6 percentage points, with Bush pulling out adds by October���s end. The republican strategy to declare 17 battleground states is ridiculous, while it will take work to win these, the GOP will pull out of at least 1/2. If you really want to make a difference in MN try to get GOP legislator (to D.C house) Klein out of office, and help local house members in rural areas, and the inner ring of suburbs. For the DFL helping local races in key areas will make much a bigger difference than going national. The reason is because these races tend to be more interesting to people who don���t currently vote, the issues matter to them more, they seem more real, are much less negative, and it will get people to go to the polls in key areas and vote democratic down the ticket (primarily). So, don���t worry, MN���s proud history as a long liberal will stand tall, we just need to prop it up a bit.

Posted by: Joe R at March 5, 2004 01:03 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment