Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not all is bad

In my last post I was very honest about where the Independence Party currently sits. As of today the Independence Party is fading in the public’s eye, which in politics is really all that matters. The death of the Independence Party however will not happen unless the quality of candidates fade or the consistency of message goes away as it did with the reform party when they went with Pat Buchanan and then in some states Ralf Nader.

In 2006 the consistency of message among Independence Party candidates was at an all time high. And while you can't argue with the success of Jesse Ventura I would say the quality of candidates was as good as ever. Of course our best state wide candidate got 6% and nobody finished better then 3rd despite Tammy Lee's strong effort. That would tend to mean it would be really hard to first of all keep those who were brought on board through the 2006 election, and second of all continue to attract other quality candidates. That is where things seem to differ from the text book theories of where the Independence Party is headed. Tammy Lee, Peter Hutchinson, and Tim Penny continue to be strong advocates of the Independence Party movement, and more importantly are actively working to bring more candidates in. The fact those people do not move on and give up tends to suggest this is at the very least a party that will at worst exceed typical third party results and at best challenge to win elections. There is no doubt in my mind the Independence Party will be a meaningful factor in Minnesota for years to come.

I wish a lot of average folks were throwing $100 into the pot and I could say fundraising was at an all-time high or that the support among the public is growing in other ways, but the reality is that at this stage the Independence Party is still all about candidates, and given that we are still a few months away from needing to have someone step forward for US Senate, and even longer for any other race the buzz of course is very low. Of course US Senate is about the most difficult race for the Independence Party to make waves and it is completely possible that a high quality candidate will not emerge, but the quality of effort is as good as it was that day Dean Barkley convinced Jesse Ventura to run for Governor.

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