You Get One Guess

Minnesota Public Radio’s Mark Zdechlik notes that Minnesota could very well see a lot more nail-biter races, because…

…well, we all know how this works, don’t we?  Minnesota is more polarized, and the parties are more extreme.  Right?

Analysts say elections have become so close because Republicans and Democrats share almost the same number of supporters and that both sides are becoming more extreme and more polarized.

And who’s the source?

You only get one guess!  Hurry!  (Emphasis added)

University of Minnesota Political Science Professor Larry Jacobs…

Oh, who the hell else?

I wonder – does the Humphrey Institute give some sort of spiff to reporters for quoting Jacobs in every single story about politics at any level anywhere in Minnesota?

If every single news outlet – MPR, WCCO, the Strib, the PiPress, the MinnPost – quoted Mitch Pearlstein of the conservative Center of the American Experiment, do you think someone would squawk that they were adopting a partisan point of view?

So given the largely  monochromatic, left-of-center pedigrees of the Humphrey Center’s faculty, why does this monopoly on sourcing in the Twin Cities media pass unmentioned?

…said politics in Minnesota has been reduced to something akin to tribal warfare; most Democrats and Republicans are dug-in so deep they wouldn’t even consider supporting a candidate from the other side.

“You’ve got kind of the Hatfields on one side and the McCoys in another,” Jacobs said.

Far better, to some in the Twin Cities “intelligentsia”, to return to the seventies, when all politicians came to us in generic yellow boxes with black lettering, all spouting more or less the same center-left institutional twaddle?  When you had your choice between John Marty and Arne Carlson – ergo no choice at all?

Jacobs said this year’s governor’s race is a good example of the polarization. He said that Republican Party candidate Tom Emmer was probably the most conservative statewide candidate we’ve seen nominated on the Republican side in the state’s history, or at least since World War II.

They always put this like it’s a bad thing.

He was nominated – they know that, right?  It’s not as if Karl Rove flew in and gave the guy the nomination personally.

With the exception of DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s lop-sided 2006 victory, the past three statewide elections have shown core Republicans and Democrats in Minnesota are evenly split.

Because winning with a majority has become so difficult, Jacobs said election strategy in Minnesota has become all about ripping the opposition and appealing to the base.

And, um, trying to scare off independents by showing that your guy is really ahead, appealing to the Bandwagon Effect.  Right, Dr. Jacobs?

Question:  If I had access to Lexis/Nexis, and could divide the number of stories on politics in the Strib, PiPress, WCCO, MPR and the MinnPost featuring quotes by Dr. Jacobs by the total number of stories on politics, would the result be over or under 25%?

1 thought on “You Get One Guess

  1. There they go again with the “most conservative since WW2!” spin.
    The US was much, more progressive, economically, during the FDR years than it is now. We had, essentially, a centrally planned economy with the government dictating prices and wages. The government told tailors how much they had to charge to press a pair of pants and told manufacturers how much they could pay their workers — minimum wage was set at different levels for different industries. It was a time when people who weren’t crazy still believed that having the government choose winners and losers in the marketplace was more efficient.
    The last 30 years — even the Clinton years — have been a repudiation of WW2 era economic policy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.