Minnesota Progressive Project: Can Dayton woo Kelliher supporters?

I feel like Hillary lost to Obama again the other night, definitely NOT the same conditions but the general feel of the results.  And like that time, MAK will be responsible for uniting the party behind Dayton.  On Dayton’s part, he will have to do some serious work in the cities to convince voters to even come out.  His focus on the iron range clearly paid off, but he lost the cities by about the same margin as he won areas in Northern Minnesota.  

So, what does Dayton need to do to get MAK supporters behind him?

The tax the rich sentiment has always been popular, but he needs to clearly define his plan (and make it a realistic one since the GOP is already all over this one). 

The major issue hanging around his neck seems to be that people are still really pissed at him for not running for reelection when he was a US senator.  Convincing people that he’s sincere about this and won’t just run for the hills when things don’t go his way will be a challenge.  Minnesotans have extremely long memories.

His personal funding of his campaign is going to hurt him more in the general than it did in the primary. (Though for me, this was a MAJOR factor in the primary). The GOP is already pitching the ‘regular Joe’ against the millionaire DFLers.

I do hope he will firmly come out for repealing the 24 hr wait for an abortion. Though his campaign manager assured me he is for this, I can’t find a single place where he actually says he will do anything about it.

One big question that will be buzzing around is how will Dayton keep those voters from flipping over to Horner? Though if the pollster’s error in prediction holds, he won’t have to worry about losing votes in the middle, but getting the base to come out at all.

This post was written by Rachel Nygaard and published on the Minnesota Progressive Project. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelNygaard

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/12/2010 - 07:35 am.

    My mean, partisan, self says go after Emmer and ignore Horner. Any attention Horner gets from the DFL will make him stronger.

    Having said that, for the good of the state, it is probably best that Dayton engage with Horner about where we are going. Trying to have an actual discussion with Emmer about this is pretty pointless because he is leg-ironed to the right wing. Horner has some actual useful and sensible ideas.

    Horner has always seemed less partisan to me and a lot more willing to try to work with the other side. Of course that got him called RINO by you know who…

  2. Submitted by Jesse Ross on 08/12/2010 - 09:41 am.

    I agree with the above commenters. Having meaningful debates with Horner would be smart for Dayton. Instead of allowing Horner to play the centrist candidate, Dayton should be setting up the race as DFL-Independent Republican-Tea Party. Keeping the message on the issues would work in Dayton’s—and Horner’s—favor.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/12/2010 - 09:53 am.

    Horner is not Jesse — all he can do is swing the election to one of the two major candidates.
    Dayton’s best strategy is to point out that a vote for Horner is a vote for Emmer, and that Emmer is the extreme candidate while his (Dayton’s) position is the more moderate one. He should stress that he’s not in fact talking about raising taxes above their historic levels — simply restoring tax rates on the upper brackets to what they were before 2001.
    It’s also interesting that Matt Entenza got about 80,000 primary votes to Horner’s 11,000, and Entenza was not considred a serious candidate.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/12/2010 - 12:16 pm.

    Horner may not be Jesse Ventura, but that’s a good thing. If there is a middle to this year’s contest, Horner occupies it. So, as we move on to November, I’ll wait to see if I can vote my conscience (Horner) or against the worsts of two, IMO, poor choices (Emmer). I suspect many independents find themselves in the same position, waiting for Horner to show some sign that he can win the general election.

    Comparing Emmer’s votes to Entenza’s is a waste of time. Different parties, different populations. The most fruitful statistic in the Republican primaries for the DFL is that Sharon Anderson got more than 40,000 votes for attorney general. One can only wonder what thought process led to those votes, if any.

  5. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/12/2010 - 05:05 pm.

    Lot’s of good comments. James is right, Horner is not Ventura. Although I would like to see Horner enlist a few of Ventura’s former commissioners in his administration. Pam Wheelock should be near the top of that list.

    Although I get the impression from Dayton that he will be above that type of campaigning. If history is a measure, Horner stands to benefit the most if the campaigns go negative. Absent the funding of the two major parties, Horner needs to make a positive impression during the debates.

    Dayton has surprised me with his ability to stay on message. If he is able to continue articulating his message and not get off track it will be to his advantage.

    Let Emmer articulate his own policies and perhaps challenge Emmer on the specifics of his policies. Emmer has not done this kind of statewide campaigning. Perhaps Dayton enjoys a level of comfort and experience that Emmer does not.

    The independent vote will be key and they will decide who sits in the governors office next January. Let’s see who they choose….

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