Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is Rochester rejecting Gutknecht ?

Oh, I’m in a quandary … what to do … what to do? I had planned to write Congressman Gutknecht today with my Health Care Plan that would reduce costs, save industrial jobs, and provide health care for all …. but now, I’ve taken a look at some of the Primary Election results and I am concerned that my Congressman will not be there to implement my plan.

OK, I’ll be serious now. I know that primaries get only about 10 % of the registered voters and that most of those that vote consider themselves to belong to a political party. But, there are some intriguing aspects of the results that should concern Gutknecht.

Obviously, that 11 % of his home base voted for a former Green-party candidate from Lake Crystal (near Mankato) rather than Gutknecht sends a rather telling message of some level of voter dissatisfaction.

But, the real area of concern is the strong interest in the Democratic Party. There were mostly non-competitive races, such as the Governor, Senator, but the Democrats did have a Attorney General race that actually meant something. So there may have been some interest in the Dems showing up to vote.

I think Rochester’s vote is relevant since Rochester had a number of “qualifying elections” --- that is, to trim the number of candidates done to the final two for the election --- Mayor, a number of School Board Representatives, and County Attorney. Those positions are not normally dictated by the political party affiliation. The Mayor race had 8,328 voters while the City Attorney had 9,812 voters. That should be a broad group of GOP, Dems and Independents. Now, in the Minnesota Governors race there were a total of 11,765 votes out of a possible 80,248 registered voters. Here’s the kicker. The Dems, with Mike Hatch getting solid support bested the Republicans … 6,100 versus 5,480 for the Republicans and 185 for the Independence Party. My inference is that I am surprised that the Republicans did not do better … historically Rochester has been considered a Republican stronghold.

Maybe, I’m reading too much into this, but this should be looked at by the Democrats that they need to excite the other 68,000 voters – apathy is as much a challenger as is Gutknecht. Also, they need to show solid support from Governor race through the US Senate and House all the way to the Minnesota House and Senate races.

Now, the bad news for Walz is the poor showing in Mankato. The thought was that the young students would come out strong for Walz. But in Mankato, a college student ran for City Council … he got only 43 votes and will not be on November’s ballot. Better get those students registered at Winona State, MnState-Mankato, etc.

No comments: