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Sunday, September 10, 2006


The primary is two days away. I'll have more to say about it tomorrow, but here's a story on how Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson is facing a primary challenge. I have heard that this is a serious one and he could be in some trouble. We'll know in two days.


At 11:20 PM, September 10, 2006, Blogger Mark said...

Even if Johnson wins the primary, he'll probably lose in the general. His district is growing more Republican by the day and he know has the baggage of being the opposition party leader. The Dems always like to select a party leader from a "red" area for PR purposes, but like Tom Daschle, the millstone of being a party leader all too often ends up bringing vulnerabilities to the surface. I don't know how serious Johnson's primary challenge is, but I give him no better than 50-50 odds of victory in November. Keep in mind, he won with a soft 53% in 2002 when he wasn't even a target.

At 9:53 AM, September 11, 2006, Blogger Norwegianity said...

Actually, I hear the exact opposite. The scuttlebutt from the district I'm hearing says that the attacks on Johnson are backfiring and that he'll skate through the challenge and win in November — largely due to the extremist rightwing crap being circulated in his district.

And I'd love to hear more about this "soft" 53%, which, btw, is a substantially higher percentage of the votes than Bush ever got, even using Bush-Deibold math!

At 5:34 PM, September 11, 2006, Blogger Mark said...

I actually like Johnson and would love to see him remain Majority Leader in the Senate. I don't know how serious his primary challenge is or isn't, but I am concerned about his prospects in November. I'll take your word about a pro-Johnson backlash in his getting-more-Republican-by-the-day district, at least for now, but am not gonna get cocky about his chances until the votes come pouring in on November 7.

And you want to hear more about Johnson's "soft" 53% in 2002? Ask and ye shall receive. Johnson lost nearly half of his old district, including Renville County and the DFL stronghold of Granite Falls. In it's place, Johnson picked up all of Pope County (which is decent DFL territory) along with the most conservative chunk of Stearns County right in the heart of German Catholic country. In 2002, Johnson was known as a moderate former Republican and didn't have an opposition target on his back. In 2006, Johnson is known as an uber-partisan DFL party leader and has a major target on his back. Sounds a little Daschle-esque to me. Alot of the conservative voters, particularly in Stearns County, who voted for Johnson in 2002, will not in 2006.

And in 2004, DFL House Representative Al Juhnke hung on by an even weaker 52% in the more DFL-friendly 13B side of the district. Juhnke is just as socially conservative as Johnson if not more so. If Juhnke ended up being vulnerable in '02, one has to suspect the same voters could penalize Johnson as well.

As for the Decider, he won this district with 56% in 2004, three points higher than Johnson. If this is some sort of proxy war between Johnson and Dubya in SD13, the mathematic advantage goes to Dubya.


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