So the Strib polls says that President Obama’s lead is within the margin of error and now the Romney campaign is touting that it will advertize in Minnesota ($30,000 by the campaign and $1.1 Million by his SuperPAC friends) …. hmmm … but wouldn’t he do better to escape SuperStormSandy and visit Minnesota … or at least send a prominent Republican to campaign in his behalf ?
Hmmm … who to pick … how about those that have had success in Minnesota before ?
And there are four that stand out …
In 2007, Newt Gingrich won the Republican Straw Poll (Gingrich got almost 39 percent, Sen. George Allen of Virginia, got about 15%, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John McCain at roughly 10% then Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.)
In 2012, Rick Santorum won the Republican Primary (Santorum got 45% of the vote to 27% for Ron Paul, 17% for Romney)
Clearly Gingrich and Santorum have polled better than Mitt Romney … but maybe he needs someone with Minnesota roots …
How about Norm Coleman who got 41.98% of the votes in his last Minnesota election ?
Or how about Tim Pawlenty who got 46.69% of the votes in his last election barely winning by less than 1% but heck that was better than the 2010 results when the Republican nominee Tom Emmer got 43.21%).
That’s the key … well four keys… Mitt Romney has no track history in Minnesota … and his potential surrogates won’t help.
The problem may be Mitt Romney … or it may be the MN-GOP brand … which is discussed in St. Louis Park’s own, Tom Friedman’s column – with these key comments :
[Minnesota] G.O.P. hard-liners, while able to win their more conservative “exurbia” and rural districts, are not doing well when it comes to overall state politics. Minnesotans have not wanted to entrust them with the governorship or national Senate seats, which is another way of explaining why Mitt Romney only gained ground on Barack Obama when he started to market himself as a moderate ready to work with Democrats. Note to Mitt: Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, is up for re-election here and leading her libertarian G.O.P. opponent by 43 percentage points in the latest Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon poll (65 to 22) ….
… All of Klobuchar’s campaign ads are positive, and many feature Republican business leaders explaining why they are voting for her. Most Minnesota voters “want their politicians to be problem-solvers, not ideologues,” Klobuchar said to me. Senator Al Franken, who’s also laser-focused on jobs, boasted to me that Minnesota is now “The Silicon Valley of windows,” because of all the high-tech window manufacturers here. Franken, who’s also a St. Louis Park native, added, “Minnesota wants its politicians to operate on principles, but if one of your principles is to never compromise, they don’t want that.”
Many business-oriented Republicans here are not only voting for Klobuchar but are giving her money, because they’ve become frustrated by the far-right lurch of the state G.O.P., explained Lawrence Jacobs, a politics expert at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The state is home to many global companies that would accept some tax increases to build better infrastructure and schools in order to have better-educated workers. And the Republican-dominated Chamber of Commerce here is leading the charge for open immigration, so Minnesota can bring in more knowledge workers from India to enrich its work force.
“In Minnesota, for many years, we had a party structure that was dominated by leaders who wanted to win and problem-solve,” said Jacobs. Now, he added, the State Republican Party is dominated by Tea Party and libertarian insurgents, not the business community, and their attitude is “we play for principles and if we lose so be it.”
Hmmm … Mitt Romney’s chances of winning are doomed … “Minnesota wants its politicians to operate on principles” and for Etch-a-Sketch Romney that will not work … but he will get votes because the “Tea Party and libertarian insurgents” attitude is “we play for principles and if we lose so be it.” They will vote for Romney (or Gary Johnson (or maybe even write-in Ron Paul)) because they do not care if they lose … they will win on principle.