Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Thursday, July 13, 2006

5th congressional DFL primary

The DFL delegates at their convention rejected Instant run off voting, and although the rules for Septembers primary would be unaltered by the approval of IRV it is a very important aspect of the 5th CD primary vote.

Of course we now all know the trouble endorsed candidate Keith Ellison has created for the party. It's to the point where it is safe to predict he will not receive 50% support in the primary, and those that vote for someone else will in large part also be voting against Ellison. Unfortunately for those that reject Ellison their vote will be split between 3 options, Mike Erlandson, Paul Ostrow, and ember Reichgott Junge, not to mention a few other inactive candidates that have filed.

While it may turn out Mike Erlandson gets the vast majority of that vote and can eclipse 50% it is more likely that Jung gets upwards of 10% and Ostrow gets upwards of 5% meaning it would only take 42.5% of the vote for Ellison to win.

If Ellison wins the primary it will then become a battle between Tammy Lee and Alan Fine to become his main challenger (again a case where it would be nice to have IRV voting). Should it be Tammy Lee, who has significant DFL ties, the opportunity for upsetting the DFL becomes real. While the district is heavily DFL the primary is or should be 100% DFL. The opportunity for Ellison to eclipse 42.5% in November is significantly less then it is in the primary. To even suggest 42.5% as an over under for the 5th CD Democrat would have been unheard of even a month ago.

The best thing that could happen for the DFL is for Jung and Ostraw to withdraw and give Erlandson the primary victory, but this is the DFL and that won't happen. Nor will this DFL embrace Instant Run off Voting even if the shocker of all shocker comes in November and the DFL does not win the 5th.

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