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October 13, 2006


A most astute comment :
Don't let the latest poll fool you: it's going to take a magnificent ground game.

Here’s my two cents on the polling data.
This is very good news as it demonstrates that Walz is a viable candidate. I understand that the polling methodology can be questioned, but Walz passed the first test as respondents said they would vote for him. Name recognition is critical for unproven challengers. People don't want to vote for someone that might be a loser. Second, it passes what I call the Bush-challenge. My assessment of the 2004 election was that voters were motivated based on fear and pride/embarrassment. As I discussed the Kerry-Bush race with voters in 2004, the common comment from independents was fear that Kerry would raise their taxes … as much as I would try to explain his tax proposals, Bush’s “you can’t trust Dems with your money” was firmly entrenched in their brains. That’s why I keep harping that Bush will veto any tax increase … to negate that concern. The pride/embarrassment aspect referred to Iraq … there wasn’t a significant difference between Kerry and Bush’s Iraq policy (both would have stayed the course, but Kerry would have called a summit and engaged other countries … too bad that wasn’t done) … but I suspect that many people did not want to admit that maybe invading Iraq was a mistake, so either in false bravado or embarrassment, they voted for Bush. People look at Iraq differently today.

All that stated, let’s remember this is only pre-season. This poll should encourage both parties to get-the-vote-out … and also engage the Independents to participate. Let’s remember that there are roughly 700,000 citizens in the First District including minors who cannot vote so let’s deduct 50,000 leaving 650,000 potential voters … but there less than 375,000 were registered for 2004. So there are a lot potential voters that should be encouraged to participate.
Wouldn’t it be great to contact potential voters at :
Rochester Community and Technical College
Minnesota West in Worthington
Riverland in Albert Lea
Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter
Southwest MN State University in Marshall
MN State University in Mankato
Winona State University
The Boehner visit to MSU-Mankato brought out a lot of engaged (and enraged) students, but there are a lot more out there. If they reside in the district on election day, they can claim it as their voting residence.

The second pre-season event is the newspaper editorials. If Walz can break the strangehold that Gutknecht has enjoyed, that would be very encouraging … so send out those Letter-to-the Editors … they might not be printed, but they will be read by the newspaper’s editors … and who knows if that could opens some minds.

But the only poll that counts is November 7th … unless you vote absentee.

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