Now that Tom Emmer has conceded in the governor’s race, it’s time to figure out who the other winners and losers were during this race.
Conservatism: Lori Sturdevant may not have gotten the message yet, but the “Independent Republican” of “progressive Republican” politics in Minnesota is dead, dead, dead. And nobody’s going to visit the grave. This election put a railroad spike through the forehead of the party of Durenberger, Carlson and the post-Watergate “DFLers-with-nicer-suits” version of the Minnesota GOP. The biggest victory in this past election – next to two chambers in the Legislature – was the one for the soul of the MNGOP.
The House And Senate GOP Caucuses: They can run 100 campaigns with an amazing degree of success! Who knew?!
SocialCons: I’ll confess; I became a Tom Emmer supporter the day he said he didn’t care about gay marriage in this election (though he opposed it personally and in the legislature). Emmer steered well clear of social issues in the campaign – even refusing to discuss abortion in the final debate at the Fitzgerald Theatre, two days before the election. The Tea Party was aggressively ecumenical on social issues.
Would Emmer have gotten 8,000 more votes had he hit on gay marriage and abortion? There’s some evidence that it might have helped, even in “purple” Minnesota.
The “Star/Tribune” Poll and the Humphrey Institute Poll: Is there a case to be made, anywhere at all, that either of these polls shouldn’t be immediately scrapped? Someone show me.
The Media: It was almost as if the media had a “hands off” order from some “mythical” central media control center; “don’t touch Dayton”. There were so many questions that needed to be asked; none of them got asked, at least not during the calendar year 2010. Granting the media any credibility at all at covering partisan elections should be considered grounds for stripping peoples’ rights for incompetence.
The DFL: The DFL’s endorsed candidate – Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, for those who’ve forgotten – continued the “Kiss Of Death” streak for the DFL endorsement, losing a squeaker to Dayton. The DFL lost both chambers of the Legislature. Their chanting-points bots noted that the DFL got plenty of votes – but those were concentrated in a small number of blowout urban races. And they lost the great DFL fortress, the Eighth District, as well as watching the Third and Sixth districts turn ever redder.
Brian Melendez better hope he’s got a union job…
The “Independence” Party: It’s official; the IP is nothing but a tactical prop for both of the major parties.
Mark Ritchie: Without a DFL legislature to hide behind, the Secretary of State stands to have the lid ripped off his little DFL vote-manufacturing machine.