Our analysis of the DFL Governor’s race to date has Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN01) as the front-runner, which means he has the target of all of the other campaigns squarely on his back. He represents every other candidate’s worst-case scenario. As the leader of the pack, he is being inaccurately pegged as “establishment candidate.” While it is true as a Congressman, Walz’ work in Washington DC is part of the dysfunction we witness, but he is not in the majority party, rather he represents to opposition to Donald J Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress. Walz is the quintessential outsider looking in, but making a great deal of noise at the same time.
Because of his previous stance on guns and the recent tragedy in Parkland, FL Walz appears vulnerable on gun violence, especially in the metropolitan area, in spite of his recent softening on the issue, specifically with Rep Erin Murphy (DFL-64A, St Paul) an experienced trauma nurse. He also loses support with his openness on extractive industries like mining. This may be why he lost handily to State Auditor Rebecca Otto (DFL-MN) in CD 08 in the DFL Caucus Night Preference Poll. Many of the caucus attendees in CD 08 oppose Polymet and the Enbridge pipeline.
As DFL delegate selection process moves forward, we will be interested in tracking the results. The next rounds of local conventions are taking place in CD 01 and this is a bedrock of Walz support. So far, the only candidate support in named throughout the district has been Walz, though most delegates have not needed to declare support for any candidate because there has not been the need for sub caucusing.
The candidate picture does also shape up in a certain manner, and once again we will use the Sesame Street song as an analogy; One of these Things is Not Like the Other. With three women and one man remaining in the race, the differences are clear and evident. The MeToo Movement is alive and well. In Senate District 66 Convention Co-Chair Ron Wacks made a serious misstep when he referred to his Co-Chair as “cute.” He was quickly chastised from the floor and later was demanded an apology and this occurred within the first 10 minutes of the convention.
The complexion of the DFL ticket with US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) at the top is something to be clearly conscious. We are skeptical, Minnesota is a universally “progressive” as people in the metro like to believe. Remember Trump nearly carried the state, and there are a large number of voters outside of the seven-county metropolitan area, who own guns, hunt, and support logging and mining.