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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The aftermath

I think I did pretty well with my predictions. I was a bit conservative and underestimated the Democratic wave. I definitely underestimated how that wave would trickle down to local races.

Klobuchar won, but by much more than the high single digits. Republicans knew that they were going to lose this, but they hoped to keep it relatively close to prevent a catastrophe for their other candidates. They did not keep it close, and the catastrophe came.

Hatch did lose by less than a couple. A lot of people are going to say that it was his "Republican whore" comment that did him in. My gut says that's not true; I think he pissed off too many Democrats by how he acted earlier this year. But there is no way to test this theory now, and the popular explanation that it was his "meltdown" will carry the day.

Incumbents did win, with the exception of Gutknecht. That was the only race where I saw a possibility of flipping, and I was right. Rowley was a terrible, terrible candidate. Wetterling was not as bad as Rowley but was not good enough to win. No other incumbents were in trouble.

Democrats ran the table with the other statewide offices. Part of the Democratic wave.

For the Minnesota House and Senate, I did not see the huge DFL rout (but I don't think anybody else did either). The Democrats in the Senate added a net of six, more than the "one or two" I predicted. Instead of the low 70s, the Democrats in the House are now at 85. All DFL incumbents in the House won; the Senate lost Dallas Sams and Dean Johnson.

I do feel bad for Johnson. By keeping gay marriage off the ballot, he helped engineer the big DFL gains. But more than that, he did the right thing. And he paid for it. As a preacher, I'm sure he's well versed in this kind of situation.

Nationally, I predicted low 20s for the House, and the Democrats are in the upper 20s now with several races left. The Senate will be controlled by the Democrats as well, with a net gain of six seats. I honestly didn't think the Democrats would be able to win Virginia, Montana, and Missouri, but they did.

There was other good news nationally too. Arizona rejected a gay marriage ban. South Dakota rejected a ban on abortions, proving once again that even in a conservative state, the majority of people want to keep abortion legal in at least some circumstances.

An aside on the abortion debate...I am sick and tired of hearing from people that "If the Democrats want to win they should become pro-life" and "Democrats don't respect their pro-life members." First of all, there are a lot more pro-life Democrats than pro-choice Republicans. If you take a look at the Minnesota House, for example, there are plenty of pro-life Democrats and no more than one pro-choice Republican. But more than that, I fail to see why both major parties should be pro-life if the majority of people in this country are pro-choice. Where are the majority of pro-choicers supposed to go with two pro-life politcal parties? Democrats just proved that they can win by respecting abortion rights (like in Kansas where a Democrat knocked off the abortion-obsessed pervert of a Republican Attorney General). So give it up. I don't want to hear anymore about your grandparents in Podunk, Nebraska who voted Democrat their entire life until they started voting for Republicans based on that one issue.

The new Democratic majorities are not more liberal, nor are they more conservative. They are diverse. I certainly hope they start out by pursuing the agenda they laid out for people and that the voters agreed with: raising the minimum wage, implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, and investigating the malfeasance of the Bush administration. People want answers, they want accountability, and they want results. The Democrats are poised to deliver what the people want.


At 1:21 AM, November 09, 2006, Blogger Mark said...

My guess is the impending rout at the top of the ticket suppressed Republican turnout. Kennedy won only eight of Minnesota's 87 counties last night. By comparison, Bob Dole won 11 in 1996. Ouch!

Considering the margin between TPaw and Hatch was a mere 20,000 votes, I'm pretty confident "Republican whore" was the difference. At least we know that with the DFL supermajorities in the Legislatures, Pawlenty will be a lame duck.

The statewide office races were won by the DFL largely because smaller numbers of voters than usual voted third and fourth parties. That's the only reason Kiffmeyer and Anderson got in there in the first place. Meanwhile, the three main suburban counties (Anoka, Dakota, Washington), which have been trending Republican in recent years, were all pretty strong for Otto, Swanson, and even Ritchie. If you're a Republican not winning those three counties, you have no chance statewide.

I didn't even realize Dallas Sams lost until I read your post. Kinda surprised he made it this long considering how Republican that district is. Johnson's defeat is very sad because he was a good leader for the DFL. I'm hoping his replacement is someone else from outstate who can bridge the divide between metro and rural....maybe Jim Vickerman or Steve Murphy.

The Walz win is particularly sweet because that was my home district. The guy is incredibly charismatic and annihilated Gutknecht at every stage of the campaign. Gutknecht appeared tired, bored and out of touch, and his horrendous TV ads reflected it.

Patty Wetterling inability to improve upon her 2004 performance, even up against a certifiable lunatic like Bachmann is very troubling. I wonder if El Tinklenberg would have done any better against Bachmann.

At 12:50 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger Kate said...

Indeed I too hope the Democrats deliver. To read about some of the issues at hand for them to work on, get educated at http://voice4choice.org

At 10:51 AM, November 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog spam is considered rude, Kate.

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