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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

MN: Despite Pawlenty's Games, Dems Win Two State Lege Races

Posted by DavidNYC

Jerkass Governor Tim Pawlenty, who apparently views participatory democracy as a game, recently scheduled a special election two days before Thanksgiving. In a bid to out-do himself, he then scheduled another special election for two days after Christmas - ie, today. This was all done in an effort to suppress Dem turnout. Guess what? He failed in November, and he failed again in December. From a DLCC press release (no link):

Tonight, Democrats were victorious in two special elections in Minnesota.

The decision by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty to schedule two special elections during the holidays - a move many view as politically motivated - did not stop voters from coming out to support Tarryl Clark (DFL) for State Senate in the 15th District and Larry Haws (DFL) for the Minnesota House election in District 15B.

The win by Clark expanded the Democratic majority in the Minnesota Senate to 38 seats while the GOP holds only 29. Haws' victory in the uncontested election in Minnesota House District, allowed the Democrats to maintain their hold on 66 seats to the Republicans' 68.

Excellent work, MN Dems! By the way, Clark's story shows why even losing can be valuable. She ran twice before and lost, but very narrowly the last time out. This time, with an open seat, she was able to build on her name recognition and experience - and seize the day. As I've said before, it's why guys like Ben Konop really need to think about running again when seats open up.

In any event, it sure would be nice if MN Dems could close that two-seat House gap sometime before 2010, as Minnesota is a state where the legislature is in charge of redistricting.

Posted at 11:30 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Minnesota | Technorati

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P.S. Mark: Happy tonight? :)

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2005 11:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think the score is up to 4-0 DFL or 5-0 DFL when it comes to the Pawlenty scheduling elections over holidays. Considering the fact that there's not a major holiday for several months, Pawlenty will have to find a way to create a new holiday, and then schedule a special election around the holiday.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 01:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

DavidNYC, very happy. I could tell from the first few precinct returns that Clark was not only gonna win, but win big. This win is particularly telling considering that the Democratic base in District 15 is college students, many of whom are probably out of town over Christmas break....yet Clark still won by 17 points. Between this race and the District 43 Senate race last month where the Dems also snatched a GOP-held seat, there appears to be an undeniably anti-Republican mood in the swing areas of Minnesota that determine election winners. If these kinds of numbers hold up even marginally next November, Tim Pawlenty and Mark Kennedy could be obliterated.

I'm pursuing a job tip with the MN House DFL in the coming weeks, and it'll be nice to go in with the momentum of victory at the party's back.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 02:18 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

On checking the precinct results, Clark didn't lose a single precinct in St. Cloud. St. Cloud had 80% of voters and 81% of votes in this election. Clark won 57-35 in that city. In the rest of the district, Ochsner 'beat' Clark by 22 votes (1046-1024).

Rockville P2 in Stearns County was the best precinct for Doc Ock, he won 57%-37% (193 to 127). In the 2004 election, Bush beat Kerry in Rockville P2 by a 68%-31% margin (780 to 353). Kennedy beat Wetterling by a 66-34 margin (754-389). In 2002, Kleis beat Clark by a 65-35 margin in that precinct, Coleman beat Mondale by a 65-32 margin, Pawlenty beat Moe by a 62-21 margin with 15% for Penny.

I'm guessing that St. Cloud City W1 P1, P2, and P3 are college precincts. They did give Clark a huge margin in 2002, and they gave a huge percentage to the Green Party candidate too. Clark ran ahead of Mondale and Moe in those precincts, and went from the high 60s in 2002 to the low 70s, with 83% in W1P1 (70 votes cast in this election, 644 in 2002)

So yes.. from waht I can see, it was a pretty swift ass kicking, and that's without the college vote.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 02:53 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

RBH, Rockville P-2 is the township, while Rockville P-1 is the city. In 2004, the city was 66% Bush. This time, Tarryl Clark won it by nine votes. When I saw Clark was winning Rockville, I knew it was game over for Ochsner. Even some of those St. Cloud precincts typically lean Republican by 60%. In the last two Presidential elections, the Democrats have won about three-quarters of the precincts in the city of St. Cloud but still barely snuck out a win citywide because the heavily populated Republican districts went overwhelmingly Bush. For not a single one of them to go for Ochsner is indicative of one of the biggest landslides in the area in recent history.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 09:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I keep hoping that a Republican state house seat comes up in a special election...

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 02:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

DavidNYC, Thanks for the shout-out to all of us in Minnesota. We are working hard up here. I had a chance to door-knock for the special election, it was a good time. This wasnt just any special election though, both Ek and Ox had scandals in their campaigns. These should be swing districts, but the good guys pulled through, by being good guys.

Posted by: DFLer22 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 03:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I live in Minnesota folks and Palwenty will unfortunately beat Mike Hatch by 10 points. Hatch's Daughters punching Chicago cops after a night of partying does not help his image as a Attorney General. We need Hatch to lose the Primary so we have a better shot at a GOP Governor who has a 60% approval rating. Also DEM Rep Peterson is really a Republican in sheeps clothing, he is more conservative than Palwenty.

Posted by: davis [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 05:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

davis, Hatch may very well lose to Pawlenty, but it's unlikely to be the result of his daughters' indiscretions. I'd be very surprised if his daughters' hijinks cost him any votes. The Bush twins didn't seem to hurt Dubya's performance. And Pawlenty's 59% approval ratings came in the wake of a billion-dollar budget surplus being announced. Two weeks later, Pawlenty's word games about a "health impact fee" instead of a tax on cigarettes is probably gonna force the state of Minnesota to pay $400 million to the tobacco companies. That's some incredibly incompetent governing that is imminently exploitable. Pawlenty's a good politician, but his party and its parlor tricks are not very popular in Minnesota these days. I'd say Mike Hatch, Steve Kelley and Kelly Doran would have very close to 50-50 odds of taking him down.

As for Collin Peterson, he's not the best Democrat in Congress by any stretch of the imagination, but he has expressed his regret for previous votes in favor of the IWR and Bush's 2001 tax cuts. He also votes with the Democrats on trade issues. I can't see any issue where Tim Pawlenty is positioned to the left of Collin Peterson.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 06:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark the Bush twins did not punch a Chicago Cop , and then have Daddy pull strings with Mayor Daley to get them off. Big difference mate. If he can't control his Drunken violent spoiled daughters, how can he run the great state of Minnesota.

Posted by: davis [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 06:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

davis, I think you're way off the mark here. George H.W. Bush's son Neal cost the taxpayers billions in the S & L scandal, but it was a non-issue in the 1992 election. Only fringe righties will try to raise the "naughty daughters=bad parenting=incapable governor" card...and it will fall on deaf ears. You must work for the Steve Kelley, Becky Lourey or Kelly Doran campaigns. :))

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 07:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment