Time to Campaign Down Ballot?

Lately I’ve been (too) frequently refreshing 538’s election predictions and they’ve become a lot more refreshing, take a look for yourself: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/   Now click over to the Minnesota forecasts- As of Friday afternoon Biden has a 92% chance of winning Minnesota and Smith a 93%! Nationwide, Biden is given an 87% chance of winning the presidency and Trump has but a 5% chance of winning the popular vote… In Minnesota and increasingly in the nation, Biden has won and Smith will be headed back to a likely democratic senate. Now look at the House predictions, and click on Minnesota and CD7 for direction… CD7 Congress member and experienced Ag committee chair Collin Peterson is forecast to have only a 24% chance of winning re-election!

538 Forecast a 95% chance that we’ll hold the house, but the loss of Collin will be a loss of his decades of experience in agriculture and robust representation of us rural folks. In the legislative races, we have a chance to flip the senate blue and give ourselves rural voices in the legislature in several districts Collin and Amy have won like SD5, HD16A, and all 3 seats in 17. And while Trump has made winning the White House a top priority, we need to hedge our bets by winning the Minnesota Senate and democratic control of Minnesota just in case Trump cheats himself into another term in the white house instead of the prison cell he deserves.

Survey USA Poll: CD7 still in play!

SUSA just popped the cross tabs on another excellent poll, here’s a link to them: http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=b445d751-a852-4340-af49-98a0411c79e8

Statewide 16% have already voted as have 13% of western MN voters, with DFLers about twice as likely to have already voted than GOPers with independents in between. Trump trails Biden 40% to 47% with 10% undecided, but in western MN Trump leads Biden 53% to 29% with 16% undecided, the largest undecided percentage in any part of the state… But CD7 always was “swinging”. In the US Senate race Lewis can’t get a break, winning 37% of the vote to Smith’s 44% with 16% undecided statewide, but even in GOP leaning western MN he can manage only 36% to Smith’s 37% with 22% undecided. So Minnesota is increasingly “in the ballot box” for Biden and Smith, but CD7’s congressional and legislative races are still very much in play.

MN Mail Voting, Week 2…

OK, last week was the first week and the slow off the mark election administrators can use “practice” as an excuse for their poor performance. But with mail movement now measured in weeks and only 4 weeks and change left, there’s no room for any more malfeasance or just plain nonfeasance in mail ballot issuance and processing.

This looks to be a record breaking election probably breaking 3 million votes cast with around 60% of DFLers and 30% of GOPers voting by mail. As of friday a.m. almost half those 3 million voters had requested mail ballots and over 300,000, a bit over 20%, had been returned and accepted by election officials. Of those votes about 200,000 are probably from and for DFLers, And with a bit over half of our voters being DFLers that means probably around 12% of DFLers have already voted.

Looking deeper into the details and especially for CD7, Redwood County has over 40% of the vote in. Clearwater, Cottonwood, Kandiyohi, and Otter Tail are over 30% in. Chippewa, Hubbard, Polk, Pope, Renville, Traverse, and Yellow Medicine Counties are over 20% in. Most of those votes are democratic, which means as more democrats have voted campaign strategy should shift from GOTVing DFLers to persuading later voting independents and jilted GOPers.

But a bunch more counties are laggards with many not even getting 10% of the mail vote in, with Lincoln, Mahnomen, and Pipestone reporting not a single vote accepted of the thousands requested… This is starting to look suspicious. Here’s the link to the stats: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/election-administration-campaigns/data-maps/absentee-data/#

MN SD5 Gettin’ National Attention!

Princeton Election Consortium has highlighted Minnesota’s SD5 race as the 3rd most competitive Minnesota state senate race and one of the most competitive in the country! Not surprising, SD5 is an ancestral DFL district in north central Minnesota made less DFL by redistricting and it finally capitulated to the GOP with the Trump wave in 2016. Rita Albrecht, mayor of the largest city in the district stands a good chance of recapture the district for the DFL, but an anti-mining plank in the recently adopted DFL platform isn’t helping matters in this district where mining and lumber are major job sources. Here’s the link: https://election.princeton.edu/data/moneyball/

MN Mail Vote Tracking: Week 1

One week in of six and change and our great Secretary of State has given us the stats for mail ballots requested and mail ballots voted and accepted, broken down by county to boot! Statewide, one and a quarter million have been requested and a 3% have been returned and accepted. A couple metro counties, Goodhue, and Steele have over 10% of ballots back and accepted, Polk, Renville, Todd and Traverse are almost there, and out here in what we currently call CD7 Redwood leads the state with about 30% with Wilkin at about 23%! Several more CD7 counties have bettered the state average of 3%, a few are a bit short of that but it’s just the first week. But the election officials in this long list of counties should hang their heads in shame and then get cracking’, as they haven’t accepted a single ballot: Beltrami, Clay, Grant, Lincoln, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pipestone, and Red Lake… You’d better have some ballots accepted by next weeks report or were gonna be more than suspicious!

Here’s the link to the SOS stats: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/election-administration-campaigns/data-maps/absentee-data/#

We’re the Majority Party, Start Acting Like It!

Enough of the sniveling on the left- Trump wasn’t elected by us voters, and neither has any other republican presidential candidate since 2004. No republican has won the popular vote in an open seat presidential race since 1988. The Senate is constitutionally unrepresentative, maybe a good idea when the constitution was written and the ratio of least to most populous state was around 11 to 1, but massively disenfranchising when the ratio is around 70 to 1 and the 10 most populous states with over half our nation’s population have but 20 of the 100 senate seats. The House is little better, as districts have been “cracked” and “packed” by gerrymandering and democrats liking for the benefits of urban living. The GOP party of zombies hangs on to power by working this system of obsolete laws, and in no way should Trump or the GOP Senate dictatorship be considered legitimate.

In Minnesota, even more so- No GOP presidential candidate has won here in over four decades. The GOP took advantage of Minnesota’s off year statewide elections to elect moderate GOPers to the governor’s mansion, but as the GOP left moderate Minnesotans behind they haven’t won a statewide race since 2006. And while gerrymandering and clustering of democrats in urban areas has given the GOP the occasional legislative majority, they have seldom actually won the statewide total vote in either house.

Even out here in reputedly red but ancestrally Farmer-Labor CD7 the GOP is only renting DFL ground- While far down ballot DFL candidates lose in obscurity, progressive Senator Amy Klobuchar and moderate Congress Member Collin Peterson win CD7 and most of it’s legislative districts. The GOP wins these Klobuchar and Peterson districts only by gerrymandering, big donors, and incumbency. At the city council level, Trump GOPers have won only in the smallest towns while democrats govern in the reddest counties.

If Trump’s still squatting in the White House after January 20th, the election was stolen.

Election Day(s) Tomorrow!

Y’ll ready to GOTV?

Ya, COVID-19 messed with the calendar, we just nominated Biden and Harris, we still ain’t caught up on lawn signs, and Pioneer Public TV’s debates begin tonight. But here in blue with a few rust stains Minnesota in person voting begins tomorrow, and mail ballots go out in the (snail) mail. Three consecutive A rated polls give Biden an outside the Margin Of Error lead in Minnesota demoting us to the 8th most likely state to decide the presidential election. The polls also tell us that over half of DFL voters will cast their votes long before Election Day… Yes, we get 6 weeks to GOTV while the GOP voters follow Trump’s command to march to the polls like lemmings on traditional Election Day.

What’s not to like?

Yup, the calendar is upside down and backwards- For the next couple of weeks we will be in mass GOTV mode. Then thanks to our on the ball Secretary of State the parties will get pretty much daily updates on which voters mail ballots have been received, and the VAN will be updated promptly. That means we’ll have a smaller and smaller list of votes to chase, and as the last Election Day approaches in this backwards election calendar we’ll switch to persuasion, especially here in CD7 where 20% of the voters swing, and those indie swing voters will decide and vote late. Throw in CD7s numerous seniors who voted Trump in 2016 and were jilted and there’s swing votes aplenty to elect down ballot democrats in places where democrats have lost a decade.

Then the polls finally close, the votes get counted, Trump and the GOP are reminded that they’re a permanent minority party… And Trump will claim victory anyway! More on that later…

Polling: CD7 is in play…

And in a good way!

Getting to the point in this year’s twisted campaign calendar where new polls pop almost everyday, and the gem of these polls is A rated Survey USA’s latest, complete with full cross tabs. Data mining this high grade ore with a mere pick axe the hidden details in the political landscape pop right out, and here they are for your political perusing: http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=cc902191-9d67-498a-aa9c-d59233e2c85b

Survey USA breaks out results for “western Minnesota” which mostly corresponds to CD7, which Hillary lost by a 30+ percent margin while moderate Dem Congressman Collin Peterson eked out a closer than usual win. SUSA shows Trump leading Biden 48% to 29%, closer than CD7’s Cook PVI of R+12 would predict. But 16% are undecided, while statewide only 7% are… We knew CD7 was “swingy”, but a week before voting starts in this polarized race, how can that many be undecided? And note that Trump hasn’t made it past 48%… Pol Sci 101 teaches us that late deciding voters will mostly vote for the challenger, and Trump ain’t even polling at 50%.

It gets worse… For the GOP!

Next race on the ballot is for U.S. Senate, with incumbent Tina Smith leading gross professional blowhard Jason Lewis 47% to 36% statewide with 14% undecided, partly reflecting the fact that Lewis outside of his 2nd CD home is known only to metro area conservative talk radio listeners. Out here in western Minnesota’s R+12 CD7 Tina is leading Jason 39% to 31%, and in a statistical dead heat with undecided which is polling at 28%!

No wonder a Jason Lewis campaign event in CD7 drew this massive crowd…

Someone please inform Jason that he’s the “sacrificial lamb” so he can enjoy his travels around our beautiful state, write his concession speech, and enjoy getting passed out drunk on election night. When even top of the ticket GOP candidates are underperforming the PVI by 8 and 25% in red but swingy CD7, all but the most entrenched GOP incumbents in the reddest districts are vulnerable!

MN GOP’s Rural Organizing Fail…

Rumor had it that the Minnesota Republicans were pouring millions and over a hundred organizers in red & rural counties, running up the voter registrations in hopes of mobilizing just a few more Trump cultists off their fat butts to take Minnesota for Trump. So today I dredged through the registered voter counts for Trump’s best dozen counties and the DFL’s two best for comparison to see if all those GOP $$$ are registering more Trump voters.

Trump won 12 counties (Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Martin, Meeker, Morrison, Pipestone, Redwood, Roseau, Sibley, Todd, and Wadena) by a margin of over 40% in 2016 per this link: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/media/2818/us-president-results-map-margin-by-county.pdf . Our great SOS also gives us annual reports and monthly updates of voter registration here: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/election-administration-campaigns/data-maps/voter-registration-counts/

Digging through the data, In the annual May reports registered voter counts in the “dirty dozen” Trump counties barely moved in any direction between the first after 2016 election count in May 2017 and the most recent annual count in May 2020, the biggest gain being 2% while many counties lost voters. OK, we’ll give those phantom GOP organizers one last chance to register some more republicans, but checking the latest August 3rd stats show’s the biggest voter registration increase from May 2017 a measly 4% increase in Sibley County, 3% in Lake of the Woods, and 2% in Morrison. The rest of Trump’s dirty dozen held even or lost voters, the worst being Redwood County at -8%.

So where the hell were all these GOP organizers and what were they doing? Given the not so fine example of shameless corruption the Trump administration has set, probably nowhere near rural Minnesota cashing the paychecks from their “no show” jobs! So the threat of a GOP registration explosion in rural Minnesota is debunked… Is this all the GOP can manage?

For comparison, the two counties that Trump lost to Hilary by an over 30% margin, Hennepin and Ramsey, saw voter registration increases of 5% and 6% respectively. So it appears that the GOP has gained no fundamental registration advantage, while the DFL is gaining a registered voter advantage in the states two most populous and democratic counties.

Memo to the GOP: Not only is your political ship lost on the political seas with a drunk with power captain at the helm, but your deck is nothing but loose cannons, and your crew is still in port partyin’!

How a conservative rural county became a COVID-19 Hot Spot…

I’m three months into pretty much isolation out here in Lyon County where 25,000 residents spread over 720 square miles pretty much make social distancing the default. While New York, Minneapolis, and other big cities were overrun by the pandemic back in March and April we waited for our first case and then the second, third, etc.. For the rare meeting we couldn’t do online we masked up, socially isolated, and got it over with ASAP. Noting the modeling that showed the viruses taking months to peak in rural counties like ours, I made another Costco run and stocked up for a couple more months.

I and my “liberal” friends followed the science and kept our virus guard up. But most of the populace followed conservative media, lost their masks, and partied in closed parks. The mayor of the county’s largest city appeared on social media opening up a new archery range with neither masks nor social distancing in use. The increase in COVID-19 cases went logarithmic, while the ad revenue driven local media buried the story while cheerleading “reopening”.

Bit over a week ago we passed 100 cases, then 200, and 258 today. That’s one percent of our county’s population that’s infected, suffering, and in 2 cases dead from the COVID-19 virus. Only 9 of Minnesota’s 87 counties have more than 1% of their population infected by the virus, and every one of those counties is rural. And unlike some of those other hotspot counties, Lyon county doesn’t have meat packing plants with thousands of workers under one roof to blame.

Yup, the conservative lily white good ol’ boys and girls of rural Lyon County deserve full credit for infecting a higher proportion of themselves with the COVID-19 virus than any county in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area. In that multicultural metro masks and social distancing is the norm, and the COVID-19 case counts have barely budged.