Primary Responses

Brad Carlson and I were on the air until 11 last night.  And I’m happy to see the MNGOP has finally learned to do elections for radio; the final call on the gubernatorial race came 5-10 minutes before we went off the air.  Couldn’t have timed it better myself.

A few notes about the evening:

Turnout, Schmurnout:  The media – and some commentators on the right – are fretting about the “turnout”. 

Don’t. 

The goal of a primary isn’t to get a majority of the voters to come to the polls to vote about what is, at the end of the day, party business. 

It’s to get people who are “base” voters to turn out.  The Secretary of State’s office says about 10% turned out – which is actually a healthy increase from previous primaries. 

More Democrats than Republicans turned out (although there are some nuances to that as well – see below); I’m not sure that that should be either a surprise or an omen in a stte with higher Democrat party ID. 

It’s Jeff:  Johnson won.  I had predicted (privately) Johnson 31%, Zellers 28%, Seifert 25% and Honour at 18%; in fact, the final results were Johnson 30%, Zellers 23%, Seifert 21% and Honour at 20%.   Not bad. 

Now that the primary is over, I can say it; up until convention time, I was evenly torn between Jeff Johnson and Dave Thompson.  I saw merit to Zellers, Seifert and even Honour – any of them would be a better governor than Alita Messinger – but my conservative heart was with Dave, and my pragmatic brain was with Jeff.  After Thompson bowed out at the convention, Jeff became my short list.  I didn’t talk about that in public – I figure nobody cares about my “endorsement”, and even if they did I’d rather they made up their own minds; also, it’s hell on bookings.   While I’m a party officer (with CD4 and the Saint Paul GOP) and am bound to either support my endorsed candidates or resign, I did firmly believe Jeff was the best combination of attributes to tackle Governor Messinger, and win – and I don’t have to say that just because I’m an officer. 

And now let’s hope some of that K Street money keeps flowing. 

In The Vacuum:  One interesting result; in the Secretary of State race, Dan Severson – one of very few candidates I ever have endorsed – an unopposed on the GOP side.  The DFL endorsed candidate, Alita Messinger Steve Simon, ran against two challengers; perennial candidate Dick Franson, and Gregg Iverson. 

And the DFL endorsed candidate got 42%.  Each of the challengers got around 28-29% and change.  That’s barely better than random distribution.

Of course, constitutional officer races tend to track with the Governor’s race.  But the DFL base’s lack of enthusiasm for the SOS race (especially compared with the GOTV effort in the Auditor race on behalf of the hapless Rebecca Otto). 

Of Consequence:  In the legislative races, the big winners were pragmatism and the endorsement. 

In 48B, Jennifer Loon beat Sheila Kihne 60-40.  That was a tough one – I’ve been a fan of Sheila’s for years.  But Loon is a senior leader, she’s got a good conservative track record, and even the gay marriage vote that sparked Kihne’s challenge tracked pretty well with the general election voters in the district; even with that, Loon has a lifetime 92% from the Minnesota Family Council, so calling her a social RINO is still misleading.   Which isn’t to say that Loon doesn’t need to communicate with her consitutents, especially her Republican base, better than she does.  This whole primary challenge, I’m told by people in the district, could have been avoided with a little better communication. 

In 30B, Eric Lucero, who won the endorsement over Dave Fitzsimmons over the same gay marriage vote (which was put to the caucuses with just the same lack of context), handly held off Kevin Kasel.  I’ve had my words about Lucero in the past – but the base has spoken twice.  I’ll look forward to helping him obliterate the DFL in whatever way I can. 

In 47A, Waconia mayor Jim Nash, riding a wave of high-profile endorsements, handily topped Bob Frey, whose main talent seemed to have been playing to liberals’ most provincial stereotypes about conservatives, to the point where I thought he might be an Ed McGaa-style plant. 

And in 51A – the west side of Eagan – Andrea Todd-Harlin won a hard-fought race against Victor Lake.  I like both of them; Victor Lake has a great story, and I hope he stays involved in politics.  Andrea is a very sharp person who I think can provide a solid challenge to DFL incumbent Alita Messinger Sandra Masin – provided the Republicans in the district get past the emnity that has rattled 51A this past few months.  I’ve been personally involved in both of the HD51 House races over the years, and flipping both seats back to the good guys would be a huge personal satisfaction.

So – on to November!

26 thoughts on “Primary Responses

  1. I’m thinking Lucero might end up with getting the short end of the stick in St. Paul. If he’s not seen as a ‘team player’, the leadership could treat him unfavorably. Also, considering several legislators endorsed his primary opponent, that just seems bad. But then, I’m a good friend with Marion O’Neil’s campaign manager.

  2. Sheila Kihne’s a right wing lunatic, not a serious candidate. She deserved to get trashed. She’s a joke.

    However much you WISH it were Alida Messinger were running, she’s not — and Messinger is the name of her SECOND husband, not her maiden name — an apparently successful marriage. So that whole spousal tie you keep trying to manufacture to the governor is also a joke. She is a successful philanthropist, and is pretty shrewd about where she puts her money, in politics as well.

    I think you missed a couple of aspects of the primaries that were more significant on the right than the ones you highlighted. The last mid-term election was of course in 2010, the year we had that recount that was so disastrously costly for the fiscally irresponsible MN GOP. It was also the year the Tea Party exploded on the scene, taking advantage of the otherwise excruciatingly low turnout in the general election.

    Looking back at 2010, and comparing the numbers to 2014, there was an increase in MN GOP primary voters of 53,533 for a governor candidate, and a 259,144 decline in the DFL primary race for governor, absent any serious contenders other than Dayton.

    In contrast, with Jeff Johson as a sitting commissioner in Hennepin County, he only garnered 12,101 votes compared to Dayton’s 46,278 votes in Hennepin County.

    Those who elected him and presumably know him the best seem to like him a whole lot less than they like Dayton…… just sayin’.

    But I DO commend the MN GOP on turning out your base for the primaries. Although turnout was overall pretty low EXCEPT for those precincts where there were down-ballot local races. So, it is pretty questionable for ANY of the top jobs how much voter enthusiasm drove that turnout versus the more local issues and candidates.

  3. DG,

    Sheila Kihne’s a right wing lunatic

    While saying “You’re wrong, DG” is almost redundant – your record in my comment section is dismal – this is a cut below the norm.

    Sheila is no “lunatic”. She’s a mom, a person with fairly traditional values, a talented writer (who, during her blogging career, excelled at “fact checks” that actually checked facts).

    But she’s a woman who’s an “out” conservative, which makes her subject to the sort of casual character assassination – “lunatic” – that seems to be the only arrow in the left’s rhetorical quiver.

    I used to hope you’d be better than that, DG. What say?

  4. Oh, and DG?

    In contrast, with Jeff Johson as a sitting commissioner in Hennepin County, he only garnered 12,101 votes compared to Dayton’s 46,278 votes in Hennepin County.

    This is so very, very wrong it’s hard to know where to start.

    Hennepin County as a whole is D+20something. Except for Jeff’s base in the northwest (which are the numbers that would be meaninful), it is stuffed full of people that would vote for Pol Pot if he’d gotten a DFL endorsement.

    Those who elected him and presumably know him the best seem to like him a whole lot less than they like Dayton…… just sayin’.

    DG, you’ve never been good at comparing apples to apples. Just saying.

  5. Messinger is the name of her SECOND husband, not her maiden name

    It’s the name that’s on all those checks that the DFL cashes. That’s all that counts.

  6. I dunno, Mitch. Why not say “Rockefeller” and point out the blatant hypocrisy of the liberal agenda by having the 1%er of 1%ers being the one to bankroll the liberal class warfare agenda?

    On another note, thank GOD that Entenza appears to have lost in his run for auditor. Idiot state that we are, we could very likely have elected him, he’d put his finger on the scale to protect pensions (as his commercials all but guaranteed he would), and then we’d end up with the whole *(&*)(&)(& state being investigated for accounting irregularities by the feds.

    I’m always glad to note the stupidity of the left, but in this case, they got at least a little bit right.

  7. However much you WISH it were Alida Messinger were running, she’s not — and Messinger is the name of her SECOND husband, not her maiden name — an apparently successful marriage. So that whole spousal tie you keep trying to manufacture to the governor is also a joke. She is a successful philanthropist, and is pretty shrewd about where she puts her money, in politics as well.

    Right, Mrs. Teasdale. Her maiden name is Rockefeller. She’s sitting on an enormous pile of money because her ancestors were greedy oil men. A true woman of the people. I will grant you that her earlier failed marriage to Gov. William J. Lepetomane was more of a merger than a marriage.

    By the way, I thought you portsiders were tired of rich people buying elections and wanted to keep money out of politics.

  8. Glad to see the rumors of Dog Gone’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

    But this post was surprisingly mild. And terse. I wonder what’s changed in her life? Hope it doesn’t deprive us of our best source of entertainment (no offense, Emery, but your idiocy doesn’t hold a candle to hers).

  9. I have to admit that although he’s a confused boob, and a untalented plagiarist, Emery does ape the appearance of an education. DG is clearly simple minded trailer trash who hits the computer when she’s sucked down a few bottles of Boones Farm.

    I see her swaying out front of the double wide in a threadbare nighty and fluffy slippers spitting at cars passing by.

  10. I have always looked upon DG as a kindred spirit with Phyllis Kahn…
    Someone who is perfectly content in her simplemindedness and backed up by the enablers of idiocy who write for Raw Story, Crooks & Liars, Democrat Underground and Kos. They busy themselves by claiming to speak for the downtrodden and fighting the moneyed establishment, without ever acknowledging that they are the moneyed (Rockefeller, Dayton? How about a throwing a Pillsbury in for some ‘real’ old money feel?) establishment (Hennepin County is D+20!) and when the downtrodden decide to speak for themselves, well they know how to rig things so that the voices of the downtrodden are silenced (ahem, we’ll need your voters to show some ID, Mr. Noor). She may not be sucking down bottles of Lafite Rothschild, but she’s certainly not touching the Boones Farm.
    As for Emery – wouldn’t a ‘talented’ plagiarist not be caught so easily or often?

  11. Seflores:
    You have definitely not seen it all, and from your writings, you do not appear to have correctly understood much of what you have seen.

  12. Dog Gone had an epiphany one day in an Art History class at St Olaf when she decided to become a revolutionary journalist to provide a voice for the sans-culottes “écrivant pour le bonheur du peuple”
    it should come as no surprise that her motto is “Il suffit que je sois bien malheureuse pour avoir droit a votre bienveillance”

  13. Wow this has turned into one of the most interesting comment sections since Spot came by and took dumps on our comment sections. And Emery while I may not like or agree with you much the fact that you have Dr.Strangelove as your avatar gives me faith that you don’t take life too seriously. After all none of us get out of it alive. Back to preparing Khans soul, I think she gave it to me for about the 5th time last night after BARELY beating back Noor.

  14. Emery:
    Again, Heh!.
    And if you had even a rudimentary idea of how search engines work, you would know why your previously unread insult (Couldn’t come up with any new material on own, huh? Again, Heh!) didn’t show up in a search for it. Maybe you should seek out Rick Santorum for a lesson. I’m sure Romney ’16 is looking to upgrade their Digital Optimization Manager – based on what I’ve learned about you and Romney ’12, you’d be an upgrade.
    Anyway Emery, now that even the devil himself has come to feel sorry for you, I’ll leave the last comment on this thread to you… so you WIN! Congratulations!

  15. “Sheila Kihne’s a right wing lunatic, not a serious candidate . . . She’s a joke.”

    I wonder: is that better than being a crap candidate, one who supports crap legislation? At least the tone of Dog Gone’s insults is improving.

  16. Seflores says: I’m sure Romney ’16 is looking to upgrade….

    I’m sort of intrigued by Ryan and Paul. Either could be better or worse candidates than Romney. Ryan if he can come to some coherent and consistent vision and Paul if he can basically do the opposite.

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  18. “Ryan if he can come to some coherent and consistent vision . . . ”
    Obama never had to do this.

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