Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Thursday, March 30, 2006

March Governors race prediction

A lot has changed with this race since I last posted my thoughts last month. Kelly Doran is out, there is little to no reason to talk about Vampires any further, the DFL race is playing out with no reason to believe Mike Hatch should be worried, and Sue Jeffers is not getting her campaign off the ground (St Paul smoking ban goes into effect this weekend and Sue Jeffers is making no attempt to make noise).

It now seems pretty clear that Mike Hatch will be endorsed. That leaves only the question does it go to a primary. Given the other two candidates I'm guessing it will not.

That leaves us with the race we've all expected for well over a year, Mike Hatch Tim Pawlenty and Peter Hutchinson with Sue Jeffers and probably a Green also on the ballot. My prediction won't be much different then it was a month ago.

Tim Pawlenty (R) 44%
Mike Hatch (DFL) 35%
Peter Hutchinson (IP) 20%
Sue Jeffers (Lib) + Green Party candidate 1%


Blogger Christopher said...

Think Pawlenty could win a two-way race against Hatch or Hutchinson?

Blogger mike said...

It's tough to say as the candidates would approach the race differently, but it seems Pawlenty would come up a bit short against Hatch according to current polls, and I wouldn't expect much change if the opponent was Hutchinson.

Blogger Christopher said...

I'm not sure how the race will go. It's a tough call...

When Ventura won in 1998, there was no U.S. Senate race in Minnesota -- so there was a lot of attention on the gubernatorial race.

In '02, Wellstone-Coleman was the main attraction and Wellstone's death (and its aftermath) really altered the state's political landscape.

I wonder how Klobuchar-Kennedy will impact this gubernatorial contest. There will certainly be tons of out-of-state cash and groups flooding the airwaves, etc...

Blogger MN Liberal said...

You're fooling yourself thinking that Hutchinson is going to get 20%. It's 8 years after Ventura, who was widely a protest vote. His celebrity status helped a ton. Penny only grabbed 16% and his name recognition was higher than Hutchinson's. Penny's support was by far the strongest in southern Minnesota, the area he represented in Congress. I'm sure, too, that some likely DFL voters went with him after the Wellstone memorial.

For what it's worth, my prediction:

Pawlenty - 48%
DFL candidate - 46%
Hutchinson - 5%
Everyone else 1%


Blogger mike said...

Third parties do tend to peak and then fade, however the reason they fade away is not because the public grows tired of them, it's because those in power tend to adjust to the message the voters send with third party votes.

Peter has proven he is more then just a guy for the Independence Party to throw on the ballot line with his fundraising and unbelivably succesful kickoff event.

Beyond that it takes a really limited campaign for any Independence party candidate to get as low as 5%

I'm not gonna kid myself I totally see the senerio where Peter gets 8 to 12% but I also totally see the path to victory.

You have to understand Tim Penny got thrusted into the race late, and ran a very succesful congressional campaign in the first district, but for a viraty of reasons he did not run a great governor campaign. We don't know yet how Peter will do when the public is really paying attention, but one thing is for sure the additional time to get his message across as well as the additional funds will go a long ways.

I may be a partisan but this idea that the Independence Party is typically a 3-5% non factor is just not supported by the actuall #'s. 3-5% is what we would get if I was the candidate and I didn't campaign at all.


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