Sunday, March 21, 2010
CAN MARK DAYTON WIN?
Many wonder whether Mark Dayton can win the DFL primary in August, and if so, whether he can win the general election in November. Does the outcome of prior elections reflect on a candidate's ability to win a current election?
Let's look at Dayton's previous election results.
Electoral History of Mark Dayton
2000 Race for U. S. Senate
Mark Dayton (DFL), 49%
Rod Grams (R), 43%
Jim Gibson (I), 6%
2000 Race for U.S. Senate - Democratic Primary
Mark Dayton (DFL), 41%
Mike Ciresi (DFL), 22%
Jerry Janezich (DFL), 21%
Rebecca Yanisch (DFL), 15%
1998 Race for Governor — Democratic Primary
Skip Humphrey (DFL), 37%
Mike Freeman (DFL), 19%
Doug Johnson (DFL), 19%
Mark Dayton (DFL), 18%
Ted Mondale (DFL), 7%
1990 Race for State Auditor
Mark Dayton (DFL), 58%
Bob Heinrich (R), 42%
1982 Race for U.S. Senate
Dave Durenberger (R), 53%
Mark Dayton (DFL), 47%
1982 Race for U.S. Senate — Democratic Primary
Mark Dayton (DFL), 69%
Eugene McCarthy (DFL), 24%
As we can see, sometimes Mark Dayton wins big and sometimes he doesn't. Can he win big this year? It's obvious that he has a good chance of winning the primary. At least as good of a chance as the other major contenders, such as Matt Entenza, R. T. Rybak and Margaret Anderson Kelliher. The question arises as to whether he can win the general election in November. The Republicans will vote Republican. The Democrats will vote Democrat. That leaves the Independents, those who vote for minor parties, the undecideds, those who vote after researching the various candidates, and those who vote by personalities and name recognition.
In light of the large file that the Republicans have on Mark Dayton that they will use against him should he make it to the November election, DFL voters have a right to be concerned. No matter that the file is full of misrepresentations, exaggerations and lots of stories that are taken out of context. The GOPPERS will make full use of it in their campaign against Dayton.
How will Dayton respond to these accusations and falsehoods? Will he engage in the dirty campaigning that Minnesotans are so sick of? Or will he keep his advertising campaign clean no matter what the Republicans do? Will he make a video that shows him laughing at the antics of his opponents and saying something like, "Isn't that just like the Republicans to attempt to sully my name by using misinformation? How boring!"
Will he ignore the barbs of his enemies? Will ignoring them impress the voters? I have to say yes. Doing so will make the Republican opponent look ridiculous while at the same time revealing Dayton's sterling character.
Will Mark Dayton campaign on the issues, using logic and reason to show why Minnesota needs a DFL governor and why electing him will be good for Minnesota? Will he tell why the DFL platform is the only way to go in November? Hopefully his campaign will focus on DFL values, on Paul Wellstone's mantra of "We all do better when we all do better," and on the reNEW MN vision of "We're all in this together."
I'm a Mark Dayton supporter who hopes that his campaign will be kept in the impeccable high character style that Dayton is known for. Voters are tired of mudslinging and character defamation.
Should Dayton not win the DFL primary, I hope the candidate who does win follows the same advice. It's imperative that we elect a DFL governor in November. Running a dirty campaign will not achieve this goal.
Read the Democratic Party Credo.