Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Convention to victory

I just came across a couple articles on the 2002 Independence Party convention which endorsed Tim Penny. While only 177 delegates were on hand the mood of the delegates and the tone of the media members represented great promise. Of course we all know Tim Penny did not win and very little came of Sheila Kiscaden’s victory, still the campaign can not be considered a failure or a sign the public didn't see a void.

We are now in the same position four years later. Peter Hutchinson while not having the election success Penny had is the same kind of candidate. The Democrats and Republicans have done nothing over the last four years to fill the void that got Jesse Ventura elected and allowed Tim Penny to be very competitive. The one difference between 2002 and now is the media and the partisan Democrats and Republicans are having a much easier time writing off the Independence Party without being challenged just like they did until the final week in 1998.

While Peter Hutchinson is no Jesse Ventura and will have to draw a different crowd to win, in the polls he sits now exactly where Ventura stood in August of 1998, just off the radar, not a threat at all. Hutchinson has kept his campaign behind the scenes because there is no advantage to peaking early as Tim Penny did in 2002. The Independence Party for the 3rd consecutive Gubernatorial election has a fair chance at victory no greater or worse then the two prior campaigns. A convention with 177 delegates on a college campus this time around would create an entirely different story then we saw in 2002. The Party of course is one step ahead of them and is creating something that will draw a crowd, and will generate excitement by hosting the endorsing convention outdoors at a baseball stadium. June 24th this race changes for good.

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