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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

St Cloud special election means...

--posted by Tony Garcia on 12/28/2005

The Democrat lobbyist lawyer beat the Republican talk show host in the Senate special election yesterday.

What does it mean?

It means first and foremost that the endless conspiracy theories by the Democrats were off-base and 100% unfounded. What theories? That Pawlenty set this week's special election to disenfranchise college students. The ONLY reason for this claim was to put doubt on the legitimacy of the election. They fear an actual fair election and this is why election after election they do this. If the results are expected to be close they find any angle for false claims of illegitimacy they can create.

Dean Johnson claims that this election also proves that Minnesota wants [insert list of spending items]. As much as the Democrats would like to believe this pap, they are looking at illusions.

Special elections are about issues as much as Howard Dean is for permanent tax cuts. Special elections are about one thing...voter mobilization. The candidate that gets people out to vote for someone they know little to nothing about will win. The debates (if there are any) get little analysis, there is very little chance to examine candidate positions and the candidates are absolutely unavailable for platform scrutiny.

This particular special election the GOP failed. They did a piss poor job of utilizing resources and they did a piss poor job of understanding what the candidate wanted.

Resources...I live 35+ miles outside of the district. Why I and my wife (who is not a delegate/alternate) both got phone calls reminding us to vote in the special election is beyond me. It does show me a horrific wasting of people's time and energy. These phone banks are typically organized by the party or the caucus. Someone there failed miserably in this election.

Resources...While door knocking with Dan "Ox" Ochsner we came across sections that were already being door knocked on that very day. Why people were hitting the same precinct in the same 4 hour window is beyond me...but amounts to a wasting of resources.

Resources in this short of an election are finite. What the party did was target aggressively the strong Republicans. I think that was a huge mistake. Reminde those people of the election. Send them a flyer stressing how important this election was. Target with phone calls and door knocking the moderates and not so reliable voters. This election was 100% about voter mobilization. By wasting the resources there were fewer voters to mobilize. The difference in the election was 1100 votes...a good portion of this was due to poor use of resources.

What did the candidate want? I remember when I was gearing up a run for state Senate. The party told me to stay away from certain issues, downplay certain positions and avoid other beliefs. Screw that. Let the candidates be themselves. Ochsner's handlers should have had the candidate standing at the malls meeting people. A waste of his time because he would be hitting people not in the district? Maybe. But the impact on those that might not otherwise vote could have been huge. Especially since Clark refused to be interviewed by us...opportunity to go after her hiding behind position-less campaigning.

In a conservative district SOMEONE should have had a few billboards reminding voters to vote. That would have helped Ochsner as well.

Instead the party chose the "stealth" approach. It has failed and I am happy for that. Candidates and their positions should be plastered everywhere. People that care will absorb the information. People that do not care will get burnt out by the whole election and maybe they will even stay away from the polls...which I see as a good thing for society. Disinterested people should NEVER be encouraged to vote. (They should not be prevented, but they should not be encouraged.)

It is St Cloud's loss that they don't get Ochsner for their State Senator. It is Minnesota's loss as well...Ochsner would be less likely to be a party patsy...and can we say the same about a lobbyist, lawyer activist? I think not. The GOP lost out on this election because they lose more ground in the Senate balance which means that weak-spined Pawlenty will be more likely to turn his back on the fiscal conservatives. And how do you convince someone like Pawlenty, who governs strictly for the intention of maintaining electability with the moderates, that he must stand firm on his principles of fiscal responsibility and smaller government? Because of the GOP's failures in this race Pawlenty will do the GOP worse causing the GOP to suffer more from this loss than they otherwise should.


Blogger Fire From the Right said...

Thank you for questioning what happened in St. Cloud. It is about time that we conservatives take a sincere look at why we lost this special election and make sure to win the next time around. NOW is when we need to energize the voters and light a fire in their hearts for future elections.

December 29, 2005  
Blogger lloydletta said...

I think Ox did several stupid things - most notably photoshopping signs at a Bush rally to say Ox.

The other piece is that I believe the democrats were more organized than the republicans on this one.

January 02, 2006  

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