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Author Topic: Minnesota in 2004  (Read 1993 times)
Galactic Overlord
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« on: April 28, 2006, 11:35:10 pm »
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It seemed as if Minnesota was an opportunity for Bush to pick up a state that had gone for Gore, buoyed by his close loss there and by Norm Coleman's victory, but by Election Night 2004, it turned out not to be the case despite some effort the Bush campaign put into the state (although it seemed by the time election night came around, they thought the state was gone).

Did the Bush campaign overestimate the influence of the exurbs?  Or did Kerry simply jack up a higher turnout in the Twin Cities?  Kerry did get 59% in populous Hennepin County, up from Gore's 53%.  Judging from the "swing" option on the map, it seemed much of northern Minnesota also swung away from Bush. 

So, was MN a realistic option?  What happened to swing that state?  Perhaps Minnesota is still too Democrat for a Republican to pick up right now?
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 12:07:26 am »
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Bush only got 45.5% in 2000.  That is quite a low number to make up, I'm afraid.  He upped himself to 47.61% - basically within the national average.  People looked at the margin instead of the percentage.

Someone from Minnesota should go more in-depth.  I know very little about the state, and we have a lot of people from it here.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 07:39:57 am »
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Another state that fits my guns vs gays theory reasonably well ... the whole gun control thing must've hurt Gore like hell in Northern Minnesota. Gay marriage didn't sell nearly as well among North Minnesota's ELCA Lutherans.
Meanwhile in the Twin Cities and the college towns and stuff, Nader was very popular (his support crumbled within the last couple of weeks, when people understood that both the nation and the state would be razor thin, yet he still took 5% statewide). Of course, college turnout was also low in 2000 and very high in 2004.
These factors combined to make Minnesota so very close in 2000 - the real question is why did some pollsters - some Vorlon approved pollsters even - think right up to election night that Bush might take the state? Shouldn't it have been obvious (by then; not talking of 3 months out) that it would be swinging back a bit? Just because of suburban growth?
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 05:20:18 pm »
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First off, Republicans massively overplayed (and overplay) the supposed "Republican swing" that has been happening in Minnesota recently.  This is not the case.  Minnesota moderated, but it didn't Republicanize, due to a recent boom in suburbs.  But now our suburbs are getting older (my 'burb included Grin) and are going the opposite way, from staunchly Republican again towards the middle.  It's also important to note that Minnesota's Republicans are not the conservative types found elsewhere... they tend to support a strong public school system and more public health care (Pawlenty, for instance, opened a program to get prescription drugs from Canada).  [propaganda] Not coincidentally, Minnesota always ranks among the highest in educational achievement and in quality of health [/propaganda]

Second, Coleman's election was basically a fluke.  First in 2002, Wellstone died, which was unfortunate, because we was quite liked in the state.  So, the state DFL got Mondale out of retirement or whatever he was in... not the best choice, but IMO not horrible either.  Unfortunately, Wellstone's funeral was used as a campaign rally, pretty much (by Wellstone's sons, no less!); several dignitaries left, including then-Governor Ventura, who was among the many attacked by Wellstone's sons.  Predictable, Mondale's numbers fell after that incident.  Coleman went on to win.  2002 wasn't a good year for DFL in general; Republicans ended up controlling the state house 81-53. 

Third, to add to what Trondheim said, third parties have a strong tradition here.  The Farmer-Labor Party of the past was very successful, and the Reform Party (later the Independence Party) was successful in 1998 with Ventura.  The Green Party too is very strong; they got over 5% in 2000.  So, the Greens are why Gore did so 'poorly' in 2000, as most of them went over to Kerry in 2004.
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