35 thoughts on “How Does Dayton Do It?

  1. As I understand the returns, it seems like Dayton’s tax the rich message was most effective in areas where people are, well, not rich.

    However, I think raising taxes is going to have to be backed by some substance. Pinning down Emmer on what gets cut in his “cut cut cut” approach to government, then letting people decide if they’re rather go without or tax people who can afford a bit more is a better approach.

    If they can’t get to that level of substance, Horner may have some fun pointing to his left and right like Ventura did.

  2. Newt says:

    Dayton’s win is explained by the self-loathing, egalitarian world view that pervades Minnesota’s left. When voters are treated to Dayton’s erratic and bizarre behavior and personality, as well as his war on MInnesota snowbirds, he’s toast.

    1. Newt, are you suggesting that Minnesotans don’t know Mark Dayton yet? That doesn’t make sense to me.

      Along those lines, giving Emmer a microphone seems like the best thing Dayton or Horner cold do. Emmer’s numbers have slipped as people have gotten to know him.

  3. Bob Lewis says:

    Emmer is unelectable, and most likely the Republicans prefer it that way.

    What – you think they want to hold the governorship when they’ll have to seriously address a $6 billion hole? Why would they do that when they can leave a DFLer holding the bag?

    The question for Dayton is whether he can beat Horner.

  4. PM says:

    I think that you neglected to mention one other crucial factor in Dayton’s win–in the primary, no one went negative.

    Obviously, going negative often creates a backlash against the person who does it (hence the appeal of “independent” committees, etc.). But I think that Dayton is particularly vulnerable to this tactic, and I fully expect that he will be subjected to it in the general election.

    Sure, there is a lot of talk about how he inoculated himself concerning depression, but can he really inoculate himself against charges of ineptness?

    I imagine that Horner is ,loving this situation–the idea of Dayton and Emmer going after each other, and allowing Horner to pull a Jesse Ventura as the other guys alienate everyone with negative campaigns…. Both Emmer and Dayton will have high negatives. Maybe horner has a chance, and a vote for him will not be a wasted vote. That is the hurdle he has to clear to make a serious run.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      True. They went negative against Dayton, mostly over the size of the tax cut, during debates and accompanying news media, but not in ads. A lot of the negative Dayton stuff is already known by DFL primary voters, but negative ads might have easily made a difference of 5,000 votes.

  5. Joe Loveland says:

    I agree with PM that Horner benefits from a Dayton win, because some DFLers just won’t be able to support him.

    Dayton needs to start getting real disciplined about rhetorically lumping Emmer and Horner together — both in ads and day-to-day — to increase the proportion of Horner’s draw from the center-right and limit the proportion of Horner’s draw from the center-left. Stuff like this:

    “Republicans like Mr. Emmer and Mr. Horner have been opposing the wealthy paying their fair share for years, while pushing for corporate tax cuts…”

    “Mr. Horner has been singing out of the Emmer hymnal as the Republican mouthpiece on MPR for years. Cut the corporate taxes. Cut the capital gains taxes that disproportionately help the wealthy. But no new tax increases on the wealthy…”

    All the sudden, we’re going to hear a lot of stump material from both the right and left about Horner again.

    1. PM says:

      but if he does that, might he not encourage more Republicans to support Horner? Particularly if Republicans do not see some hope of an Emmer win, they might decide to support Horner in a kind of “Anyone but Dayton” move.

      When the 2 parties move to the extremes (and I think that Dayton and Emmer were the extreme choices) that leaves a lot of room in the middle. This has to be Horner’s dream scenario.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        Yes, I believe Dayton does want to encourage Republicans to support Horner instead of Emmer, until and unless Horner reaches the tipping point where he is a viable winner.

        It’s possible that Horner could win, but the reality right now is that Emmer, despite all his self-inflicted wounds and ads directed at him, is still running around 20 points ahead of Horner. So at the moment, it looks much more likely that Horner, not Emmer, will inadvertantly play a spoiler role. Obviously that could change if Horner somehow quickly picks up 20 points, but…

    2. Actually Joe, you are wrong in your comment and right in your original posting…Dayton does not have to change anything, and instead needs to focus on “Still, he is a disciplined true believer, and that makes him, oddly enough, a very effective communicator during campaigns.”

      It is only ‘oddly enough’ to you…but you need to talk to voters that are not part-time pundits.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        I’ve heard tell of those exotic creatures you refer to as “voters that are not part-time pundits,” but have yet to see or meet any of them. I am curious about them, though.

        If I could only find the gilded staircase of my sumptuous Ivory Tower of Punditry, I would attempt to commune with the creatures you speak of. But alas, I never have had the benefit of visiting with anyone at public school meetings, church gatherings, youth sports and music events, professional meetings, or neighborhood confabs.

        It aint easy being me.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Hi Rob. Sorry to disappoint you. I agreed with you in the second point that Dayton did a much better job connecting to DFL voters than his opponents, but I’m surprised you disagreed about the other points.

      Do you think Dayton would have won this race, or the wins that obviously paved the way for this win, if he hadn’t benefited from the personal wealth he has used so freely in campaigns?

      Do you think Dayton would have won this primary, if he had gone one-on-one against the DFL endorsee?

      I don’t intend to badger. I’m legitimately curious about the nature of your disagreement.

      1. Who cares if he would have won if going one-on-one? The same can be said of the other two candidates. It is an unanswerable question. As to the impact of money – did $5 million help Entenza? Money is necessary but not sufficient without party endorsement.

        I’m curious why you wouldn’t even consider the idea, in your post, that he won because more DFLers agree with him. There seems to be some kind of prejudice against Dayton at Rowdy Crowd that I don’t quite understand.

      2. I also find it curious that of all the reasons you found for Dayton’s win, not ONE of them consisted of a rational choice by DFLers about who would best represent their values as governor. It suggests that all political discourse is a sham.

        I don’t totally disagree with that conclusion, but I would stipulate that Democrats are different than Republicans, whose ranks are filled with authoritarians and social dominators – neither of which are too concerned with evidence and reason.

      3. Joe Loveland says:

        Re: “Of all the reasons you found for Dayton’s win, not ONE of them consisted of a rational choice by DFLers about who would best represent their values….”

        In this post and others, I noted that Dayton was smart enough to stress on an issue that connects with DFL primary voters – “making the rich pay their fair share of taxes.”

  6. Tim says:

    Dayton vs. Emmer is an epic contest, post-apocalyptic in its bizarre perspectives, sad motivations, and overall extremism.

    But I think we can forget about Horner, and not just because he doesn’t have the money to win, and little hope of getting it. The independents who’ve made a difference are center to left (Hutchinson, Penny) who can take advantage of the large and notoriously divisive Dem vote–or colorful celebrities (Jesse) who win the way colorful celebrities always do. Horner’s neither–he’s a former Republican strategist. He’ll steal some Republicans who can’t stomach Emmer if he doesn’t run out of gas first.

    1. I couldn’t disagree more. If this is epic, it is epic between Dayton and Horner. Read Rob’s comments above, because I completely agree with Rob, who understands things as a voter and not as a ‘party hack’ or ‘political (horserace) pundit’.

      Why am I flecking spittle on pundits in these comments, because as the real race develops, you will try to compare this race more and more to the Ventura win over Humphrey-Coleman…failing 100% to grasp the 100% difference between then and now. Please, please, please try to stay focused in the now…because the times truly demand adult behaviour and not politics (as a game) as usual.

      At the risk of sounding melo-dramatic–this election is serious and demands serious consideration.

  7. Ellen M says:

    Who on this blog even knows the details of Dayton’s “large tax increase,” as Loveland incorrectly calls it? Who on this blog will even be affected by this “large tax increase”? His plan could raise $4 billion of the $6 billion we need to balance the budget in the next biennium.

    Second, I am pissed whenever anyone refers to Dayton’s alleged medical conditions or self-admitted depression as if they were shameful and disgraceful characteristics and not the “luck” of the genetic draw some people are more prone to than others. I admire Dayton for admitting his past experiences with depression. Don’t raise your hand if you or a loved one has ever been depressed. It’s a very real medical condition, much like high blood pressure.

    Third, I wasn’t aware of any war Dayton was carrying on against snowbirds. Now that allegation sounds crazy to me. I’m with PM: Dayton appealed to the majority of those who voted, especially the elderly. He has “taken care of them,” they believe, while the others didn’t even act as if they mattered.

    And what’s the difference between Dayton vs. Emmer? Well, um, how about Emmer is a hater who believes homosexuality is a choice, that aid to children and the sick can be cut before we cut corporate taxes, and who thinks those kids who sang at his rallies about killing gays were nice young people. This isn’t opinion (except for the “hater” moniker): these are facts.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Ellen, I agree with your stigmatizing those who stigmatize addition and mental illness. I wasn’t intending to do that.

      At the same time, you can’t do honest political analysis while pretending mental illness and addition are non-issues to voters. That’s denial and denial can’t be part of analysis. Just because things like gender, race, ethnicity, addiction or mental illness SHOULDN’T be issues to voters doesn’t mean that they AREN’T issues to some voters. As such, they’re a legitimate part of analyzing electoral strengths and weaknesses.

    2. Allison says:

      To be accurate, Dayton got a plurality (41%), not a majority, in the primary. But that also speaks to the other pretty good choices that we had (particularly Margaret Anderson Kelliher).

  8. Ellen M says:

    Joe: I think you mean stigmatizing addiction, although I personally have always stigmatized addition, subtraction, multiplication and – especially – long division.

    I hear what you are saying about mental illness. But who are any of us to judge another’s mental health and/or lack thereof? Analyze, yes. Stigmatize, no. Maybe that’s what I was intending to say.

    The Republicans were heard on channel 5 (11?) criticizing Dayton for closing down his Senate office. Yet they swoon over a woman who QUIT during the middle of her gubernatorial service. Confusing standard.

    I also wanted to say that I was impressed with Horner’s live Q&A on this blog. He was fast & smart, did NOT give BS politically-neutral answers to tough social questions and went the distance. However, I don’t know anything about his mental and/or physical health. Should ?

      1. PM says:

        Well, we can’t know everything, but we are obligated to make judgements based on what we do know.
        So, based on what you know about Horner, Emmer and Dayton, we will all have to make a choice. We will probably know more about Dayton’s mental status than we will about either Emmer’s or Horner’s–and we might have to make assumptions about what we do not know. That is how most of us go thru life every day–making those kinds of assumptions about the sanity (or lack thereof) of the people we bump into or work with, etc.

  9. Mike Kennedy says:

    Who gives a shait whether Dayton is depressed, bi-polar, suffers from attention deficit disorder or uses Viagra?

    The question is, who can effectively be the chief executive officer of the state of Minnesota? Not a one of these people impresses me — Tom Horner is the closest thing, in my mind, to the best candidate.

    Then again, this state has a rather bizarre reputation for electing some — let’s say — strange cats. Nothing is going to surprise me.

  10. Newt says:

    The GOP is salivating over the former senator who graded himself an “F” in public office. Which was being charitable to himself.

  11. Mrs. Fay says:

    I always fascinated by the discourse here, and how uncannily similar politics in Maine are to Minnesota. I wonder in how many states the “independant” gubenatorial candidate is making a major push?

  12. Thanks for this analysis, Joe. Your electoral arithmetic assessment underscores a key concern about our plurality voting system whenever there are more than two competitive candidates on the ballot. Who knows for sure who would have won with just two candidates in the race; what we do know is that one would have won with a majority of votes. Tuesday’s primary results have continued to set the stage for Minnesota’s next governor to take office — for the fourth consecutive time — without the mandate of a majority of the electorate. Our current system no longer reflects the current realities of Minnesota’s multi-party or multi-candidate politics. Instead, “spoiler” dynamics, tactical voting and plurality outcomes have become routine. The challenges facing our state are tough enough already; burdening our next governor with such a thin mandate is a prescription for more years of stalemate and divisiveness. Ranked Choice (or Instant Runoff) Voting offers us a way out of this dilemma: It allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference on the ballots, eliminates the need for tactical voting, encourages political competition and ensures majority rule. For more information: http://www.fairvotemn.org/2010ElectionMediaKit

Comments are closed.