Red v. Blue: Dead heats in MN
Is GOP on shaky legs in "Battleground State"?
This week the Wall Street Journal published the results of Zogby's polling in 17 Senate and 21 gubernatorial races across the country. The poll indicates that the GOP might lose some seats in the Senate, if the election were held today. Let's forget for a moment the horrible misfire Zogby shot in the days leading up to Kerry/Dubya. And let's forget, in fact, these races are not going to be held today. Minnesota, once unquestionably blue, recently red, is now shades of gray.
The poll is fun simply because it offers various matchups--three candidates against incumbent Governor Tim Pawlenty, for instance. No matter who he's pitted against, however, Governor HockeyPuck may have his reelection work cut out for him, if the poll means anything.
Attorney General Mike Hatch, long-presumed to the be the main DFL candidate for governor, fairs pretty well against T-Paw, despite his well-earned reputation as a nattering nabob; Hatch gets the nod, 48.6 percent to 45.2 (plus or minus 3.8 margin-of-error points).
Pawlenty doesn't necessarily fare better against other presumptive Democratic candidates. Unelectable rich attorney Mike Ciresi edges the guv 47.9 to 45.6 percent. Bud Philbrook, who ... what does he do again? ... only loses to the incumbent by six percentage points, 45.3 to 39.4. Hardly a hearty "hear-hear!" for Tim from South St. Paul.
Moving on to the race for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Mark Dayton, the waters are only slightly less murky. Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar's margin over Bush lackey and U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, 49 to 42.9 percent, shows that the Democrats are nuts to run anyone other than Klobo-Cop in this race.
Or does it? Despite her poor showing in last year's congressional race against Kennedy, Patty Wetterling scores a 48.1 to 44.9 margin over Kennedy statewide. Ford Bell, who ... uh, not sure on that one either ... somehow manages to rate just 3 points shy of Kennedy, 45.3 to 42.6. (Kennedy, according to the WSJ, barely rates above newcomer Kelly Doran as well, even though Doran has decided to run for governor.)
It's far too early to tell, of course, but the numbers are not exactly stellar for the two current GOP officeholders. Could it be the Pawlenty/Kennedy campaigns are reaping the benefits of duo's relentless devotion to the White House?