Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Monday, September 03, 2007

Al Franken versus Jesse Ventura

A lot of national sources like to make the point that because Minnesotan's elected Jesse Ventura it is more reasonable to expect us to elect Al Franken. That argument may be true to the extent that Minnesotan's do a better job of giving all candidates a fair shake, but the argument ends there as Franken and Ventura couldn't be more different.

First of all Franken is your basic Democrat, while Ventura was something different from the typical Republican or Democrat. Basically we had to elect Ventura to get his politics. We already get the politics of Franken or very close to it with Amy Klobuchar, Keith Ellison and other Democrats across the nation.

Second Ventura ran as a third party candidate meaning it didn't take anywhere near 50% of the vote for him to win, he had the luxury of not worrying as much about those that he would turn off. Franken on the other hand needs to convert 1 extra voter every time he turns someone away from him.

3rd if were going to run with the assumption that we elected Ventura because were just a bunch of morons and would elect Franken for the same reason then we have to look at the popularity of pro wrestling in 1998 as compared to the popularity of a sketch comedy cast member today. It's laughable to think there are people out there that think people would vote for the sketch comedy guy with the same attitude they voted for the wrestler.

4th and possibly most importantly Ventura held a significant political office in the past as mayor of Minnesota's 6th largest city, and he was reasonably succesful in accomplishing what the voters wanted him to accomplish in that role.

Franken might win, but if he wins it will be because he is a Democrat not because he was on Saturday night live. If I was a betting man I would however say he will get a lower percentage of the vote then Ventura received.


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