In 2018, Minnesota will be the home of the Super Bowl … and also the home to the Super Bowl of politics when two Senate seats will be contested.
Football fans and fans of politics will take these events seriously.
Viking fans are hoping for a return to the Super Bowl …. albeit haunted by the memories of Brett Favre and their last “almost” SB appearance … who could forget that with 19 seconds left, Farve rolled to his right, threw across his body into coverage and resulting in an interception.
Yeah, Brett Favre … no doubt many Viking fans were not surprised … they learned to hate him when he led Green Bay to their Super Bowl win and relished when his intercepted throws led to Packer losses.
No doubt many Viking fans watched another victory-turned-to-a-loss, said to themselves “what did you expect?”
Now, the spotlight is on Senator Franken … and allegations of misconduct.
No doubt many Minnesotans said to themselves “what did you expect” … remembering his article for Playboy magazine which caused a backlash from DFLers during his 2008 Senate campaign … but in the end, enough voters gave him another chance.
Now, the current environment will not allow third chance.
(Speaking of Brett Favre, didn’t he send naked pictures to Jenn Sterger, a sports reporter who was employed by the New York Jets when Favre played there, as well as other women? In football, plenty of players get “second”, “third” and even “fourth” changes — but not in today’s politics.)
As we know, Brett Favre was inducted into the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame … Al Franken will not be.
Yet, if you look at Al Franken’s tenure in the Senate, there were some accomplishments — for example, the Medical Loss Ratio requirement that has resulted in $2.8 Billion being refunded to consumers.
Yep, if you look at Franken’s stance on the issues, it was easy to see how he earned over a majority of the votes for his 2014 re-election … besting the Republican challenger by over 9 points.
But that’s over now.
Instead the 2018 elections will feature both seats being contested.
Amy Klobuchar, who won re-election with 65% in 2012 and has had only a few announced Republicans seeking the seat — Robert Barnheiser and Jim Newberger … while current elected Congressmen Tom Emmer, Jason Lewis and Erik Paulsen have been raising cash to retain their seats in the House.
Yet, Minnesota was anticipated to be a highly competitive state with heavily contested seats in Minnesota’s First, Second, Third and Eighth Districts.
Now, the Franken resignation throws another Senate seat in play … with the possibility that the Seventh District might get more investment from outside groups.
Will Emmer-Lewis-Paulsen decide to challenge for the Franken seat ?
And who will be the winner ?
Well, for certain it will be Stanley Hubbard.
Yep, Stanley Hubbard who controls Hubbard Broadcasting and has 13 television stations (including KSTP in the Twin Cities, WDIO in Duluth, and KAAL-TV in Rochester MN) and 41 radio stations across the U.S., should see lots of ad revenue for all those TV ads bashing DFLers and praising Republicans … and ads bashing Trump while praising Democrats (okay, let’s be honest there will be 9 bashing ads for every 1 praising ad).
The Hubbard family will be making their donations to the Republican candidates … and realizing that all that ad revenue will be pure profit regardless of who wins the election.
And what about Donald Trump ?
Well, consider that he almost won Minnesota, ya gotta think that he will see Minnesota as an opportunity.
And why not, bashing the “extreme left-leaning” Democrat candidate is an activity that Donald Trump relishes.
Voters will hear the Trump message … and possibly think that maybe having a Republican and a DFLer in the Senate would force compromise.
The Trump effect in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin helped retain Republican Senate seats in 2016 (Rob Portman won Ohio without any help from Trump) … will that create an opportunity for a Republican win in Minnesota ??? And move Republicans in control of the Minnesota House delegation ???
Yep, it’s gonna be a costly election … and one full of a lot of venom.