If Chanhassen’s 7th Precinct had its way, Mark Kennedy – not Amy Klobuchar – would be Minnesota’s junior U.S. senator, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty would have won re-election in 2006 by a landslide, not a squeaker.
By every recent measure, this part of Chanhassen is conservative.
But Deb Lano, 49, wasn’t taking anything for granted. She went early to vote.
The sun was rising over Carver County’s grassy fields when Lano got in line at 7:05 a.m. at the Chanhassen Recreation Center where the 6th and 7th precincts were voting. The line spilled out of the building and stretched some 50 voters deep onto the sidewalk.
Forty-five minutes later, Lano had voted. The parking lot was full. And cars lined up for a quarter mile on the street beyond.
Lano usually votes a straight Republican ticket as do most of her neighbors.
It is precincts like this that have given Rep. John Kline a serene hold on his congressional seat while other Republicans have trembled in the shadow of President Bush’s unpopularity. In 2006, Kline defeated his Democratic challenger, Coleen Rowley, by a whopping 39 percentage points in Chanhassen Seven.
Lano wasn’t confident those margins will hold this year: “It’s hard to say. A lot of things are happening.”
Still, she predicted Kline “will be all right.” It’s the presidential race that looks shaky to her.
The one sure thing is that it’s time for the campaigns to end: “I’m so tired of those ads from both sides. I just can’t stand it for another day,” Lano said.