Also because the National Republican Campaign Committee so didn't invest a cool million in Southern Minnesota.
In CD1 2012 POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS, Julie Quist writes:
Tim Walz won the CD1 election by a 15 point margin over Allen Quist. What factors accounted for that difference in vote percentages? First of all, we need a historical perspective.
The 2008 and 2012 elections were similar for the Democrat vote versus Republican vote in Minnesota.* In 2008 the Republican candidate lost to Tim Walz by a difference of 30 points. This means that the Quist campaign made up 15 points of the difference as compared to 2008. But that still left the Quist campaign 15 points short of Tim Walz.
We'll give her this one. After all, she's no Brad Biers, and her husband is considerably more charming than 2008 Republican challenger Brian Davis.
What factors does she cite as causing a great DFL turnout? Top of her list: those pesky amendments:
There is strong evidence that the extraordinary Democrat turn-out in Minnesota in 2012 gave their candidates a 7 point advantage. For example, Michele Bachmann’s polls consistently gave her an 8 point lead. She won by 1 point.
Pre-election polls showed Romney close to even with Obama in Minnesota. But Obama carried Minnesota with a 7 point advantage. John Kline’s opponent received a similar bump as did Collin Peterson. Credit Walz with 7 points based on DFL turnout.
(The Democratic turnout in Minnesota was far greater than in other states. The DFL used the two proposed constitutional amendments as organizing issues and as get out the vote tools. We have received numerous reports of people going to the polls, especially college students, just to vote against one or both of the amendments. This resulted in a Democratic turnout in Minnesota that was far greater than the turnout nationwide and is one of the biggest reasons so many Minnesota Republican and conservative candidates lost their races or fell below expectations.)
And who put those amendments on the ballot? Jeepers: the now-fired Republican majorities in both houses of the Minnesota legislature.
Some friends. Or maybe not, since Michael Brodkorb, one of the principle architects of Republican strategy in 2011 was also the de-facto (if volunteer) campaign manager for Allen Quist's rival for the Republican nomination in MNCD1, Mike Parry, as Bluestem noted in posts like Emo Senator: Brodkorb gave his love to Mike Parry, but now he never calls.
Of course, the conservative brain trust felt at the time that the marriage amendment would whip up a conservative vote frenzy. Minnesota Public Radio reported in Brodkorb: Marriage amendment on ballot to boost voter turnout:
Brodkorb said Republicans were concerned about firing up voters for the 2012 elections, and discussed a variety of possible amendments before settling on a measure that would ban same-sex marriage.
"In the context of all of these constitutional amendments, turnout and rallying the conservative base, rallying like-minded Democrats and others to the polls for Republicans and for this issue, was a constant theme of discussion," Brodkorb said.
No wonder the Norseland farmer refused to clarify his position on the marriage amendment in Winona, as we noted in Quist wants government to define marriage but so not tell straight people who they can marry, sticking instead to majority-grabbing points like claiming poor people gamed the system by getting divorces so they could get more food support on their EBT cards.
But there's more to her deep-thinking. The NRCC never coughed up some cash it promised for after the primary:
Immediately after the Primary Election, the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) promised to spend up to $1 million in CD1 to tell the public who Walz really is. But the NRCC didn’t show up—perhaps because subsequent polling showed Tim Walz had an approval rating of 53%, and an incumbent with an approval above 50% is normally not considered vulnerable. The NRCC had numerous races competing for its money and decided to use that money elsewhere. Credit Walz with another big advantage compared to what could have been if the NRCC had come in.
Given that Quist himself didn't fork over the $1 million of his own money that he promised CD1 endorsing conventions delegates he'd spend, Bluestem must conclude that there's a lot of that sort of thing going around.
Update: A friend reminds us that there's more to this story. As Bluestem noted in Are Allen & Julie Quist growing mushrooms in their rural Norseland farmhouse basement? here's also the statement that Quist made to Post Bulletin political reporter Heather Carlson who reported in Quist to national Republicans: Thanks, but no thanks:
1st District Republican candidate Allen Quist isn't getting any help from national Republicans when it comes to TV ads and the St. Peter farmer said that's probably for the best.
He said national Republicans approached him about running TV ads and wanted him to use a cookie-cutter TV ad and insert his name. But he told them he had no interest in doing that.
"We are on our own and it's probably for the best," Quist said.
So once upon a time, Quist turned that help down; now we're hearing it never showed up [end update].
The New Ulm Journal's Josh Moniz reported in Quist raised $17,000 for final FEC report:
The other big story with Quist's FEC report is that he remains barely halfway to his campaign promise goal of raising $1 million dollars to defeat Walz. Quist said that he would personally cover all the portions of the $1 million not generated through fundraising. Currently, Quist has raised $568,591 total for the campaign.
Quist continues to insist big funds from Republican donors and other sources will materialize before election day to cover the remainder. But, Quist said last week that more funds would be contributed for October reporting. Additionally, with less than 10 days before the election, Quist will have effectively no time to spend the roughly $500,000 still needed if the big donors do emerge.
Some more money trickled in after that report, but nothing like what Quist had promised.
Mrs. Quist's final factor is the Republican surge that never happened. If only motivation, money, and urban legends had cut Allen's way, her husband would be congressman now instead of Tim Walz, who totally had luck on his side.
And those meddling kids!
Cartoons by Ken Avidor: Allen Quist rides off into the sunset; Julie Quist as The Dutchess and friends.
Related post: Polls close, Allen Quist rides into sunset.