Swath of Minnesota voters in a big L may be key to governor’s race

They call it the “L” — the western and southern swaths of Minnesota that form the letter on the map. It includes mostly agricultural areas and an aging population that doesn’t always vote party line.

And a story by Forum Communications says it might hold the key to the governor’s race:

“Particularly for Republicans running statewide, if you don’t carry The L, you don’t win the race,” said state Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, who lost the GOP governor nomination to Tom Emmer last April.

“There is a mix of independent people out there,” added former state Rep. Doug Peterson, DFL-Madison, who is Minnesota Farmers Union president. “Those people are looking at what these candidates can do or cannot do for them.”

The story says DFLers traditionally do well in the big cities and Republicans do better in the suburbs, leaving the L to battle over.

And it’s interesting that this year none of the three major candidates are from Greater Minnesota; Mark Dayton’s lieutenant governor candidate, state Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon of Duluth, is the only one on the ticket to live outside the Twin Cities area.

And while none of the candidates have been particularly active outstate, the story says, maybe that doesn’t matter: It’s still early, and the farmers are talking about corn.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 09/20/2010 - 04:23 pm.

    This weekend, Sept. 17-19, on a trip up north to the cabin I watched the lawn signs and bumper stickers closely. We went north on Trunk Highway 15, then northwest on Highway 10, and then farther north on Highway 64 to Akeley. I saw scads of signs for Emmer, but not a single one for Dayton or Horner. The same thing happened coming home. I spotted no signs at all for Dayton or Horner. I’m guessing this means Emmer has more support in the center of the state, or his campaign has been more aggressive in placing signs. Either way, I was surprised the number of signs was so lopsided.

  2. Submitted by John Olson on 09/21/2010 - 07:16 am.

    In our suburban community, the number of yard signs is down dramatically. Even at those public places that have traditionally hosted a lot of varying campaign signs, the numbers are very, very small compared to past years.

    I suspect one of the reasons that our area does not have many yard signs on private property is the growing lack of civility in politics. Reasonable people can agree to disagree, but the underlying tone has less to do with ideas and policies and more in line with an “us versus them” mentality.

    We have a mixed neighborhood: business owners, health care workers, teachers, airline employees, police and fire department employees, etc. The lack of yard signs tells me that our neighborhood is placing a higher value on those relationships instead of adding to the hostility and divisiveness we are already bombarded with.

  3. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 09/21/2010 - 10:43 am.

    This is the first time I’ve heard that yard signs are hostile and divisive. When did that happen?

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