Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 01/19/10 00:40
by Dave Mindeman
Now that Norm Coleman has made his decision and practically every person in the world has given us their opinion, let's go for one more.
Here's my opinion.Minnesota will have a Democratic Governor elected in 2010.
Now, I realize that nowhere in that sentence do you see Norm Coleman's name, but Norm's decision is a pretty direct translation.
Now, it would be a little foolish to say that without some kind of explanation, so here goes.
Without Norm Coleman in the race....
a) The GOP nominee will be either Marty Seifert or Tom Emmer. A contest between the two of them will be causing them to fall all over each other grabbing for the farthest right slot. Besides I can't think of Seifert without remembering his dalliance with pirates. Arrrgh!
b) So far, the Independence Party has not come up with a strong enough name to be a deciding factor. Most of the candidates in the past have had somewhat liberal leanings and siphoned off Democratic votes. Right now, the top prospect is Tom Horner, who will be a bigger drawing card for siphoning off moderate Republicans from the GOP.
c) Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I don't see the Democratic candidate moving (or perceived) as far to the left as is being surmised. With the probability of a primary challenge a virtual certainty, the Dems will have to make a broader appeal much earlier than the GOP candidate. This will give the Democratic candidate (and right now it doesn't matter who it is), the advantage of broader statewide appeal.
d) It is also doubtful that the Republicans will be able to substantially outraise the Democrats in money. Norm Coleman could have presented a challenge in that regard -- the rest of the field will have a tougher time. Big donors will be more concerned with Congressional or Senate races. The GOP field wasn't attracting the big money before Norm's announcement -- and even if they were holding back to see what he would do, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be an enthusiastic outpouring now....it's still the same field they were hesitant about.
e) There will be no GOP primary battle. Republicans think this is a good thing, but even if Norm would have lost in a primary, the attention would have given Seifert or Emmer some serious name recognition. And they need it. The Democrats may have to fight it out, but the media attention will be focused on them and if the winner has the money to stay with it into the general election.... well, same result..... Democrat wins.
Now, I also say all this knowing full well that the Democrats will probably have a tough year nationwide. However, the anti-incumbant feelings in the Minnesota Governor's race could just as well fall on the GOP banner. Pawlenty has had 8 years... and they have not been particularly stellar years. And I don't see any "new" messages coming out of Seifert or Emmer.
It's too late for someone else to get in. It's Seifert or Emmer.