From the Land of 10,000 Lakes

I am not much of a political prognosticator. (I figured Walter Mondale would win because all my friends were voting for him.)

But I’ve just come back from Minnesota. I am seeing Democratic activity in places where it has never been.

Minnesota’s 6th District, which stretches from the Minneapolis exurbs to St. Cloud, has been reliably Republican for years. After Mark Kennedy decided to run for the Senate, the Republicans nominated State Senator Michele Bachmann, a true social conservative.

The Democrats nominated Patty Wetterling, a child safety advocate whose son was abducted by a masked stranger and never found. Ordinarily, this conservative district (Bush won it in 2004 with 57 percent of the vote) would be considered to be a safe Republican seat. But a combination of Bachmann missteps (she recently announced that it was her husband who wanted her to run for the seat–she filed so she could be a “submissive” wife) and a general desire for a change have put it in play.

The 1st District race also shows that it is a bad year to be on the ballot with an R after your name. The district, largely agricultural, stretches from Wisconsin to South Dakota. Democrat Tim Penny, probably the most conservative Democrat in the House at the time, represented the district until his retirement in 1995 when he was replaced by Republican Gil Gutknecht. Until recently, he was thought to have an easy re-election.

But now both races have become competitive. Congressional Quarterly ranks the 6th district as “No Clear Favorite,” and the 1st as “Leans Republican.” The Senate race between DFLer Amy Klobuchar and former Congressman Mark Kennedy is all but over, with Klobuchar in a commanding lead, and the race called “Democratic Favored” by CQ.

Remembering my Mondale experience, I will leave the predictions for others. But for those of you who will be looking for indications on the night of Nov. 7, I offer this tip: if one of these Congressional races goes Democratic, there’s a blue wave coming. If they both go Democratic, that wave will be a tsunami.

2 thoughts on “From the Land of 10,000 Lakes”

  1. Stay warm out there! It seems like it must be awfully cold up there since it’s in the 40s-50s here.

    I sure hope Patty wins–I loved her campaign in 2004 as well, and think she’d be a great addition to the House. I am happy to hear that Pawlenty seems to be on the ropes too. Never cared much for him.

    If Judy Feder breaks 45% then I think there’s a blue wave coming!

    See you back in Mt Vernon!

  2. Cold — man, it was FREEZING in Minnesota. This morning’s 30 degrees in Virginia seemed absolutely balmy by comparison.

    Out to the 50th District this weekend to work for Jeanette Rishell. And making calls to help Judy raise some $$$. If we all just keep doing our part …

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