Wednesday, March 08, 2006

 

If you read this...

...then chances are very good you read other blogs with the results of last night's straw poll at DFL caucuses. Okay, so that last one wasn't a blog, but all the same. A few notes:

Senate - Not that I'm necessarily supporting him, but I was somewhat disappointed to see how poorly Ford Bell performed in this ballot. There's still plenty of time for a little movement between now and June 9th, but let's be honest - it would take a miracle at this point for Bell to get the DFL endorsement. The strong moves his campaign has made appear not to have had much effect on caucus-goers' attitudes on the US Senate race, and it looks like they're getting behind Amy Klobuchar in droves. I had hoped that Bell could at least have some effect in terms of platform issues, but with these numbers - not likely.

Governor - Here's the good news - Mike Hatch's "poll" was crap. Here's the bad news - the anti-Hatch crowd is split right down the middle. Almost exactly, in fact. Here's more good news though - if that crowd gets behind a candidate who can win, there's enough strength there to secure the DFL endorsement. I don't think that candidate is Becky Lourey, however. I still like Mike Hatch's work as Attorney General - I really wish he would stay there. There's still room for a little movement here, however, and this race bears plenty of attention in the next three months.

AG - Do we really need to discuss this? Matt Entenza beat the pants off of "Other/Undecided." It was a tough race, but Entenza emerged, bloody, but victorious.

Secretary of State - In my SD and around the state, plenty of folks undecided here. I would have to say that the most room for movement belongs to Christian Sande - Mark Ritchie already has a fair deal of name recognition across the state, and with 40% undecided at this point, a lot could happen.

State Auditor - Rebecca Otto beat up on Reggie Edwards, but same situation here as with SoS - with so many undecided this early, making assumptions doesn't mean a whole lot. It won't take much work for Ms. Otto to walk away with the DFL endorsement.

At a local level, I had a chance to talk with John Benson, who's running for State Rep against Ron Abrams in 43B. I would link you to Mr. Benson's website; unfortunately, I left his lit at home and can't Google it. He's an interesting candidate - in a district where the incumbent has never faced serious competition in his entire tenure in the house, Benson went out in 2004, pounded the pavement, knocked on doors, put his nose and those of his team to the grindstone, and got 48% of the vote. That happened without the assistance of an accurate voter file for Minnetonka - an impressive result given his inexperience and the cards being stacked against him. I asked what the strategy was for picking up those three percentage points he needs to win in 2006 - his response: "we're going to work harder and smarter and better than we did last time." Short, sweet, and I think he has a great chance to win.

In other local news, Judy Johnson will be coming back for more in SD43 against Terri Bonoff. Part of me hopes Ms. Johnson has seen the light of reason on allowing so-called "intelligent design" in our science classrooms - but another part hopes she lets her political loyalties screw her campaign once again. It's a struggle, really.

Comments:
----------------------------------------------
Blogger Mike S said:
Here is my concern. I was at the convention 4 years ago for Becky. When she dropped, a lot of her support in the 8th CD and in rural MN switched to Moe over Dutcher, Becky 2nd choice. The same will happen this year towards Hatch if she dropped. But anyways, she came in second last night, so how is the momentum with a third place finisher?
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Liberal said:
I like Sen. Lourey, but she's a one-issue candidate: Iraq. (Yes, I know, health care, but her profile is dominated by Iraq to the point of overshadowing her health-care proposal.) Pawlenty will be tough to beat, and the DFL cannot do it by placing its money on anti-Iraq sentiment. Not in a state-wide race.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
I agree with mn liberal on this one. I wasn't at the convention four years ago, but from those nearby who were, I've heard the same thing over and over - that once Becky Lourey realized she wasn't going to win, she could not control the vast majority of her delegates. I doubt very much that her delegates would jump to Hatch at this point or at the convention.

I also think it's not really reasonable to call it a third-place finish when A) 25% of the precincts were not reported in the DFL's numbers last night, B) the spread is currently 3/10ths of a percent, or somewere around 70 votes statewide, and C) that finisher is still steadily and relentlessly improving on his positive name recognition around the state, against two opponents who are already pretty well-known.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger Mike S said:
IRAQ? Find me a news story, speech, position paper, anything anywhere in the media or from her campaign that focuses on Iraq? Did Becky oppose the war? Sure. So did a lot of Minnesota state senators. And her son being killed in Iraq put her on a higher stage for her opposition. But you know, if anyone has tried to play the war in the Gov. race it was Kelley with that sign in his office window. Becky has been in office a long time, and has advocated a lot of issues, as you say health care chief among them. To say she is a one issue candidate, especially on Iraq, is very demening and shows you have not been paying attention at all.

I could just throw out accusations against candidates I don't support and not back them up, but I'd rather have an honest discusion.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
That again? Come on, it was made clear then that Scott Cameron asked to put the sign up, and Kelley agreed. The impetus for the sign never came from the campaign.

I should have been more clear on my agreement with mn liberal - I agree with the last part, not the first. She's not a one-issue candidate. My issue with her is a serious one that has almost nothing to do with her actual positions.

Look, we're Democrats (I hope :) ). I think at this point in the campaign, those of us who are involved are really listening for details on issues and policies from the candidates. But step back for a moment and listen to HOW Lourey speaks. She rambles. She tells stories that go nowhere. She talks about a "vision" repeatedly, but doesn't expound on it. This is not what it's going to take to convince moderate Republicans and independents to vote for her, and she would get absolutely shredded in a heads-up debate with Tim Pawlenty.

And frankly, if you look at their voting records, Kelley and Lourey vote the same way on most every issue except for conceal-and-carry and the stadium deal. For the difference those issues make (a small one, hopefully), I think it's far more worthwhile to support a candidate that will be able to beat up on Pawlenty on the issues without rambling, screeching, and self-cheerleading through a stump speech.

It's harsh, but it's true.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger Mike S said:
It takes more than a good voting record to be a good Governor. It takes vision, it takes an ability to work with others, and as progressives we should want to challenge the status quo. We lose elections when we are only negative or overly technocractic. I think Steve Kelley offers a little bit of that, but not enough. Hatch offers little to none of that.

I'm not sure what debates you are talking about (the St. Paul Straw Poll? I'll admit that was a poor performance)? Clearly on MPR yesterday Lourey was on message and the winner of that debate. People at my precinct caucses were talking about her there.

Lourey also has statewide appeal. Her votes came from all corners of the state, suburban, she won a friend's precinct in Circle Pines of all places, rural, and city.

We need something different than what we have had for 20 years in the Gov. race. Sorry to say, but to most voters, not the inside baseball know all the issues and differences types like us, but Hatch, Kelley, and Doran look, sound, and talk like John Marty, Roger Moe, and Skip humphrey. We can't keep trying to tell voters they are wrong, maybe we as a party are wrong with the kinds of candidates we keep giving them.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
My primary examples are the straw poll and the U-DFL debate between Lourey, Kelley, and Doran. I don't pretend to know a whole lot about Moe and Humphrey - I wasn't involved with those races. I just call this one like I see it, and I see Kelley having a much better chance to A) keep Hutchinson from being a factor, and B) beat Pawlenty on the things that matter to the whole state, not just DFLers or moderates.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger Jeff Fecke said:
I backed Kelley, not so much out of a love of the guy, but more because I can see him getting the endorsement, and I can't say the same about Lourey. Sorry to say, but I think her best shot was four years ago (when either she or Dutcher would have been infinitely superior to Moe). As for now, I'm more interested in the nominee not being Mike Hatch, who just has yet to convince me that my feeling on him (that being that he's a yutz) is wrong.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Will you be headed to your SD convention?
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Liberal said:
I was careless on my first point. Instead of saying "her profile," I should have said "perception of her profile." Let me clarify:

Politicos like us know that Sen. Lourey is not a one-issue candidate. (Hence, my reference to health care.) My comment was a generalization about the 80% of voters who do not follow politics as closely as those of us on this blog. Ask them. I am certain they will overwhelmingly connect Lourey with Iraq. And while I am mostly in agreement with her position, I don't think that's enough to win the governor's race.

It matters very little what she actually stands for. How many voters actually read a candidate's platform? It's the public perception that counts.

Lastly, Republicans can easily paint Lourey as a "liberal." I don't think "liberal" is a bad word; in fact, I think the DFL should take that term back. But in a three-way race, the winner will be the major-party candidate who can take more independent and moderate votes from the other major-party candidate. I think it's a long shot that Lourey can secure more of the middle than Pawlenty. I'm not sure if Kelley can do it, either, but I feel confident that he has a better chance.

Look, I'm not in-fighting or trying to support one candidate over another. I'm simply pointing out the reality of this election. I applaud everyone who stands by their candidate on principle, but that is a different game from tactically winning. Principle is one thing; you need to win in order to govern. And winning this election will be ALL about the middle 30% who are not tied to either the GOP or DFL.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger Mike S said:
I think you are all looking at the election too much as party insiders and not how non-partisan voters think. They care a lot more about how they feel about a candidate, if they trust them, if they like them, and if they think they are looking out for their interestes, than what their positions on issues are. Look at Becky's district and you will see conservative voters. Becky meets the above qualifications more than anyone else in the race.

We as Democrats complain about how people like George W. Bush get votes because people like him, or at least did. Why not stop complianing about it and use it to our advantage.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Liberal said:
Actually, my point has been to look at this like a non-politico. Most non-politicos view Sen. Lourey through Iraq lenses. And I don't think her district is any more conservative than Sen. Kelley's. Kerry won both, and both Senate districts are represented by a DFLer who cruised to victory (Steve Simon and Bill Hilty) and a Republican who barely won (Ron Abrams and Judy Soderstrom). Besides, the most important point in defeating Pawlenty is to win more of the middle than he does. I just believe that Sen. Kelley is better situated to do that. Regardless, if Sen. Lourey is the candidate, I'll throw my support behind her.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
Note to self: Figure out way to modify the comment template so that I know which post is being commented on. Took me a while to find this comment. While your analysis is correct, I would offer that Ron Abrams is in 43A, currently being opposed by John Benson, but 44A and 44B are represented by Steve Simon and Ron Latz.

I'm fairly certain that Kelley's first victory was the beginning of a wholesale changeover from all three seats being held by the GOP to the other way around.
 
----------------------------------------------
Blogger MN Liberal said:
MN Campaign Report-

My bad. Thanks for pointing out my error. Simon (who unseated a long-time Republican) and Latz (two DFLers) represent Kelley's district; Jeff Johnson (formerly) and Abrams represent the adjacent district (with a new DFL senator and a likely DFL victory if Abrams is appointed to a judicial office). Given that, I still don't think that Kelley and Lourey's districts vary in terms of left-right ideology.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Google
Web
MNCR