The congressional race in the First seems done, with Congressman Walz taking a leadership role in Veterans United campaign against the marriage restriction amendment and running a feel good television ad. Meanwhile, opponent Allen Quist is touting a YouGov internet poll via his Facebook page, but the data may not say what he's implying.
In Walz to lead veterans group opposed to marriage amendment, the Star Tribune's Baird Helgeson reports:
Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz is leading a new coalition of armed services veterans working to defeat the marriage amendment.
Positioning himself as a leading voice of opposition among the state’s Washington delegation, Walz joined Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt to announce the creation of Veterans United. The Wilfahrts’ son, Andrew, was an openly gay soldier from Rosemount who was killed in Afghanistan last year.
“To ask a young American to serve this nation, and in the case of Corporal Wilfahrt, to make the ultimate sacrifice, how can we use our sacred constitution to limit the freedom to simply marry the person that they love?” asked Walz, who represents Minnesota's First Congressional District. “Veterans understand selfless service. It’s our responsibility to protect them as they have protected us.”
Walz's support for same-sex marriage is nothing new. While running as a scrappy underdog challenging six-term incumbent Gil Gutknecht in 2006, Walz told "Lambert and Janacek," on KTLK-FM, July 27, 2006:
And the best thing that ever happened to me was to get married and I don't see a reason to deny that to anyone. So I'm pretty consistent on that, of where government should not be in our lives.Walz repeated the sentiment during a debate at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato
and received an overwhelming applause from the audience. Republicans often point to his support of marriage equality as a sign that he's gone "Washngton," but they have short memories for elephants.
Walz's first television ad is out. Here's "Goals":
Finally, Allen Quist, the dinosaur whisperer, is touting a YouGov internet poll which puts a generic Republican candidate ahead of a generic Democratic candidate in the "South" part of Minnesota. The tabs are here.
Looking more closely, one can see what the problem is with the data:
Democratic candidate 37% 48%
Republican candidate 45% 38%
Not sure 18% 14%
"South" and "North" aren't congressional districts, but regions. It's likely that the "South" includes not only the First, but the more conservative southern rural parts of John Kline's Second and Collin Peterson's Seventh (he picked up half of the "six pack" of counties, after all), and the "North" likely includes parts of the Seventh and the Eighth.
If not, it looks like Chip Cravaack is in big trouble, along with Walz, and Lee Byberg's literary career is over.
YouGov polls are generally considered reliable, but this dataset isn't particularly helpful. The same breakdown for the U.S. Senate race shows Kurt Bills ahead of Klobuchar in the "South," whch seems sketchy.
Photo: Tim Walz.