The Wednesday after: How did it happen and what does it mean?

MinnPost photo by Terry Gydesen
Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov.-elect Tina Smith waving to supporters at the DFL election night party in Minneapolis.

The ads have been replaced by an avalanche of analysis and punditry.

Post-election the Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger offers “Six Quick Takeaways”: “2) Split those tickets: Minnesota are thoughtful ticket-splitters. In the northern Eighth Congressional District, Franken won nearly 54 percent of the vote and Dayton took in just 51 percent. Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, whose race to keep his seat was one of the most expensive in the nation, netted slightly less than 49 percent of the vote to Republican Stewart Mills’ 47 percent. Voters made careful choices.”

The AP serves up a story that includes this: “Some voters gravitated toward the message that split power in St. Paul was a good thing. Minnetonka homemaker Kimberly Agneberg, 57, backed a Republican House candidate because she wanted ‘to get away from being Democrat-controlled, which is hard to do in Minnesota.’ She said she thought Republicans would do better at cutting taxes and creating jobs. One area that will test the new working relationship is transportation. Minnesota faces a backlog of road and bridge projects that would take billions of dollars to address. Dayton has signaled that he’ll push to implement a tax on gasoline supplies to come up with some of the money, but Republicans see that as a non-starter.”

Quote machine Larry Jacobs was on WCCO-TV this morning. “In many races across the country, it worked for candidates to tie Democrats to the unpopular president Obama, but that strategy was less effective in Minnesota. ‘It turns out that President Obama is a bit more popular,’ Jacobs said. ‘You had Dayton and Franken winning almost 100 percent of [Obama supporters’] votes, plus they picked up about a fifth of the people who didn’t necessarily approve the job the president is doing.’ … There’re some very strong Republican strongholds. When you look at the map for the Minnesota House, the Republicans are basically winning back seats that Mitt Romney won in 2012.”

At Power Line Steven Hayward loves the beating billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer took. “The Keystone pipeline appears to have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, according to the National Journal: Following an election night that saw anti-Keystone Democrats replaced by pro-Keystone Republicans, the oil-sands pipeline project now appears to have at least 60 supporting votes. That means legislation forcing approval of the long-delayed project may be headed to President Obama. Before the election, at least 57 senators could be counted on to support pro-Keystone legislation, but that was never enough to beat a filibuster from the project’s opponents. And none of the 57 seats that were held by pro-Keystone lawmakers were surrendered to anti-pipeline newcomers. … That ought to harsh Tom Steyer’s mellow.  I say make him spend it all in 2016. After that perhaps he’ll go back to investing in coal plants again.” Like a real American!

His colleague, John Hinderaker, writes, “One of the happy consequences of last night’s Republican sweep is that several obnoxious themes on which Democrats have relied will now, presumably, be put out to pasture. These include the moronic ‘war on women,’ which ostensibly worked in 2012 but fell on its face this year. Someone forgot to tell Joni Ernst, Elise Stefanik, Mia Love, and countless other Republican women who stuck it to the Democrats. A second discredited Democratic theme was their incessant, crazed attacks on Charles and David Koch. Never before in American history has one of its major parties launched such a vicious campaign against private citizens, merely for exercising their constitutional rights.” Which they bought, fair and square.

At Hot Air Ed Morrissey writes, “There is a potential ceiling here of 57 [Senate] seats for the Republicans, and certainly 56 is within the realm of probability. That would make it very difficult for Democrats to win back control in 2016, as the odds get much longer after one gets to R+53 in the Senate. [Maine’s Angus] King would flip back if they got close enough for it to matter, but [Joe] Manchin wants to win re-election in West Virginia and the progressive tilt of Democrats and the legacy of Barack Obama practically force Manchin to realign himself, and sooner rather than later. I’ll predict that the 114th Congress starts with at least 55 Senators in the Republican caucus. Those are the consequence of wave elections, and of setting precedents for abusing the minority in the years preceding them.”

MPR’s Tim Post notes, “Several of the state’s school districts got approval from voters Tuesday to move forward with big construction projects, security improvements and technology initiatives paid for in part with money from local taxpayers. In Robbinsdale, voters approved a $3.5 million bonding package to pay for new technology in the district’s classrooms over the next decade. In the Rushford-Peterson district, voters approved $38 million to help pay for a new school. Taxpayers in the Centennial district approved $50 million for school remodeling and security improvements. Mora voters turned down that district’s request for $18 million to help build a new school.” Perfectly good money that would otherwise be in job creators’ pockets.

Up north, Brady Slater of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “Chloe Rockow, [Stewart] Mills’ communications director, said early Wednesday the Mills Fleet Farm vice president was probably at a ‘point of concession’ and that there was ‘probably no chance of victory’ but that the GOP candidate wanted to wait until all of the precincts were counted before issuing a statement.”

And for the record:  The AP says, “Minnesota’s pride in its voter turnout took a beating this midterm election, with only about half of eligible voters taking the trouble to show up. Unofficial numbers from the Secretary of State’s office estimate Tuesday’s turnout at 50.31 percent, well below the projection of 55 to 60 percent. Nearly 56 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot four years ago.”

Next door, Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes, “As GOP Gov. Scott Walker seeks to carve his mark in Wisconsin’s economy and the politics of a nation, he’ll have to grip his raw materials with care. The newly re-elected governor has a state budget that won’t yield easy tax cuts; a Legislature with a larger, more conservative majority that won’t shun controversy; and a media that will obsess over a 2016 presidential run that may not even happen. To shape them to his ends, Walker will need every bit of expertise he’s learned in the craft of politics. … In the 2015-17 budget bill that’s due in February, the governor will seek to lower taxes while contending with a shortfall of nearly $1.8 billion, or 5.8%, being projected in the state’s main account. He’ll also have to grapple with a separate long-term hole in the state’s road fund.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by jason myron on 11/05/2014 - 03:33 pm.

    It means

    when Dems don’t bother to show up at the polls, they lose. It means that the Dems are wimps that don’t stand up for what they believe in. They made the same mistake that Gore made in 2000 by running away from Obama…a guy that waxed the Repubs twice. Bill Maher said it best…”You gave them heath care, not herpes, what are you afraid of?”
    They let the Repubs define them and didn’t fight back, plain and simple. You’re the democratic party…start acting like it.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/05/2014 - 03:34 pm.

    Walker’s Solution?

    BIG tax cuts (for his state’s wealthiest citizens),…

    tax increases on monthly payments from annuitized pensions,…

    and the privatization of all public schools, fire departments, and police forces,…

    with all previous labor contracts wiped out,…

    and individuals (or their municipalities) left on their own to contract for public safety services,…

    and parents left to contract individually for education for their children.

    Of course most of that is unconstitutional, but he’s sufficiently stacked the Wisconsin Supreme Court that he’ll win any case that goes before them,…

    regardless of what the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin says.

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 11/05/2014 - 03:41 pm.

    Just wait…

    Tuesday’s best news for Democrats is that Republicans are now convinced Walker’s a viable Presidential contender. I’m almost convinced his re-election was a Democratic plot to lock up the next Presidential election.

  4. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/05/2014 - 04:09 pm.

    Oh, really?

    “Never before in American history has one of its major parties launched such a vicious campaign against private citizens, merely for exercising their constitutional rights.”

    I think the fundamental ignorance of that statement speaks for itself, unless anyone cares to raise the ghost of the late Senator McCarthy (R-Wis).

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/06/2014 - 04:51 am.

      The Free PR Moment & Candy

      That’s right. Wisconsin is the state that gave us Nixon’s old buddy – McCarthyism!

      Mitch is shaking what his momma gave him
      as hard as he can.

      This is for free coverage.
      Right now, the media has something to go after & it feeds their need to sell a line.
      Just as “lame duck” presidency was a foregone theme they pushed from the start.

      It is amazing that the guys who jammed it all up (Republicans) get to do it some more.

      What should be fascinating, is to see if Ted Cruz really is going to thumb his nose at Mitch,
      or if his threatened histrionics are intended to queue for better Halloween candy from McConnell.

Leave a Reply