Tom Horner campaign cites GOP poll and blogger to argue that ‘Tom Emmer has hit a ceiling and cannot win’

Amid the daily swirl of “news”’ releases sent out by the various campaigns, there was one today from Tom Horner’s campaign that was a bit unusual.

The Horner release cited an item from a conservative blog that shows, the Horner campaign claimed, that “Tom Emmer has hit a ceiling and cannot win.”

That’s a pretty big statement, based on the campaign’s interpretation of a Republican poll in House District 32B and the comments of  blogger Scott Johnson of Power Line.

The poll results of the Tarrance Group, a Republican Party research and polling outfit, show Emmer favored in the district with 41 percent. (For sake of comparison, the same poll shows Rep. Kurt Zellers, the House minority leader, with 57 percent support.)

Johnson interprets the 42 percent as a grim sign for Emmer. The Maple Grove district has been solidly Republican, giving Gov. Tim Pawlenty 55 percent support in the last election, far better than he did statewide.

Wrote Johnson: “As we all know, 2006 and 2008 were not good years for Republicans in Minnesota. They were disasters. For Emmer now to be polling only at 41 per cent in the district this year means that Emmer is in trouble. … It’s time for a gut check in the Emmer campaign. The campaign is not going well and the campaign leadership needs to wake up.”

So that’s Johnson’s interpretation of the poll from one Republican legislative district.

Now, there’s the interpretation of the poll — and Johnson’s comments — by Horner’s campaign manager Stephen Imholte.

“If Emmer can’t perform in Maple Grove, he certainly can’t perform statewide. The race will come down to Horner and Dayton.”

The Emmer campaign’s interpretation is different from Johnson’s — and strikingly different from Imholte’s.

For starters, Emmer spokesman Carl Kuhl said he hasn’t spoken with Johnson but that the campaign feels good about its general direction.

“There has been a big uptick for Tom [Emmer, that is] in recent weeks,” Kuhl said. “As more and more people learn about Tom for themselves and not what they hear about him, there’s growing support.”

As for Imholte’s assertion that the governor’s race “will come down to Horner and Dayton,” Kuhl sounded perplexed.

“I think if you look at his highest poll numbers, there was one that showed him about 18 percent,’’ Kuhl said. “I have one question: ‘What’s your path to victory, Tom [Horner, that is]?’ “

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/13/2010 - 06:41 pm.

    Horner is not going to win.

    But he has wounded Emmer, fatally.

    Whether the GOP wants to admit it, or not-

    The Republicans have two candidates: a right wing conservative and a moderate.

    The DFL has only one candidate: Dayton.

    Do the math: 50D > 50E – xH, where xH = 0 to 100

    D = Dayton voters percentage

    E = Emmer voters percentage

    H = Horner voters percentage

    Assuming – which is MORE than fair, that the initial distribution of voter preference is equal for Dayton and Emmer.

    Bye, bye, Tom (E and H)

  2. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/13/2010 - 07:55 pm.

    As an person who votes for the candidate and not necessarily the party. I care less about “Guns God and Gays”, the three touch stones of the Republican party. What really captures my attention is someone who can at least try to govern from somewhere near the middle. Us versus them has been over worked for too long now. The party who can capture the middle (center right or just plain center) will dominate the arena. With deficits as large as they are, it is pure hogwash to say that you can just cut your way out of it. The party that can be honest about the solutions and the pain that we will have to go through to achieve our goals is tops with me. There is no free ride.

  3. Submitted by Brian Simon on 10/13/2010 - 09:07 pm.

    That’s an interesting point, particularly coming from power line.

    Speaking of which, do we have polling data for legislature races? Other than seeing some yard signs, I’ve heard zero on the legislative front. I’m almost ashamed to ask for it, but can we get some horse-race coverage of the state house?

  4. Submitted by mike grimes on 10/13/2010 - 11:52 pm.

    Whats wrong with saying that if Emmer can’t secure favorable districts he can’t win, the ease with which many predict Horner won’t win is not an argument that he can’t win. If Horner is sitting at 18% in a poll with as much as 13% undecided then the path to victory is pretty clear, every time he gains 1% of the vote the motivation for the next voter to support Horner increases likewise as the gap between Emmer and Dayton is widened (if it does) the courage for an anyone but Emmer or Dayton voter to support Horner increases greatly. The next set of polls will either open or shut the door for Horner (23% or better opens it 17% or less shuts it), but lets not worry about 2 week old polls, come November 2nd the question is will over 50% of voters prefer Horner over the eventual winner? Horner can win but he probably won’t. Emmer has to see Horner under 16% in the next poll or he can’t win period.

  5. Submitted by rolf westgard on 10/14/2010 - 04:07 am.

    “There has been a big uptick for Tom [Emmer, that is] in recent weeks,” Kuhl said. “As more and more people learn about Tom for themselves <<<< It strikes me that the opposite is true. The gregarious Mr Emmer can make a good first impression, but the more you learn the scarier he gets.

  6. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/14/2010 - 01:44 pm.

    Richard offered: “As an person who votes for the candidate and not necessarily the party. I care less about “Guns God and Gays”, the three touch stones of the Republican party.”

    That’s funny, Richard. I haven’t heard a peep about the “three G’s” from anywhere but the left…you have heard about the DFL’s plans to ambush the special session to push a bill for “Big Gay”, haven’t you?

    So what does your level headed observation tell you about a crew that is willing to torpedo disaster relief for thousands to assist a special interest group?

    Appropos of nothing, Bill’s comment format brings to mind a ticker tape feeding in one ear and spilling out the other.

  7. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/15/2010 - 06:54 am.

    Tom says: [“the special session to push a bill for “Big Gay”] Too bad MinnPost does not have a fact-check threshold for comments. Just more Tom foolery from Tom.

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