Emmer atop GOP, but DFL’s a toss-up

The media was all over the Minnesota primary on Tuesday, and while Republican Tom Emmer won the GOP primary handily and Tom Horner won the Independence Party nod virtually uncontested, the fate of the DFL candidacy for Minnesota governor was in doubt as flash-flood conditions rocked the Twin Cities metro area.

While stations posted digital camcorder reviews of the night’s election results, mand Sony Handycams were in use as reporters rushed to track down the latest poll counts. Certain there were also many camcorders crowding the halls of all three Minnesota political parties, hoping to get that golden soundbyte that could encapsulate the night.

In fact, it is WonderfulPessimist.com’s belief that the DFL blew it tonight. Party nominee Margaret Anderson Kelliher held a narrow, 41-to-40.9 percent lead over veteran Democrat Mark Dayton for the nod, and either one is certain to be less appealing to mainstream Minnesota voters than Matt Entenza, who was running with former Fox 9 News co-anchor, Robyn Robinson.

Entenza is just as leftist as Kelliher and Dayton, but he has the advantage of a great “small town Minnesota kid made good” back-story that is unlike anything Kelliher or Dayton bring to the table.

Kelliher is a polarizing figure unlikely to appeal to tweener voters; her anti-Bush-centric primary campaign showed her to be out of step and out-of-tune with voters in a year when most voters no longer blame the current economy on Bush and Bush alone, but are disillusioned with Barak Obama. She played attack-style politics from the word “go” without ever stopping to make a strong, ideas-and-issues-based argument for why she would make a good governor.

By contrast, Dayton is an equally polarizing figure, but for different reasons; Minnesotans remember him as the cowardly Senator who fled Washington over a terrorist threat about an anthrax attack that never materialized; he retired after one term, in disgrace, and is hoping Minnesota voters have a short memory when it comes to his cowardice.

Both will be vulnerable to an effective campaign by Emmer, especially if he focused as much on ideas as he does on his opponents. Entenza would have been another story; he is the one candidate Emmer would have no chance against… basically because he’s likable.

Too bad he won’t get the chance. He looks great on any digital camcorde.

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