Government Watch / Politics

Blue Minnesota May Go Red in 2022

AMAC Exclusive – By Barry Casselman

The 41st governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz.

The reputation of Minnesota as a solid Democratic (blue) state was revived more than a decade ago as the local Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) began taking back control of state government and winning a majority of congressional seats, both U.S. Senate seats, mayoral races in all large cities, virtually all of those city council seats, and many suburban elected offices.

It was an echo of the post-World War II era, when the newly-created DFL – formed by a merger between the Minnesota Democratic Party and the larger Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party in 1944 – began winning local and statewide elections with a generation of liberal leaders, including Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Don Fraser — each of whom became national figures. Two of them became vice president of the United States and later, Democratic nominees for president. It was a liberal golden age in a state which then seemed overwhelmingly and permanently blue.

In 1978, Republicans won upset victories for governor and both U.S. Senate seats, and for the next three decades made Minnesota purple — not really red, but definitely a competitive two-party state.

The departure of GOP icons Rudy Boschwitz, Bill Frenzel, and Vin Weber, et al, and later, their successors Norm Coleman, Jim Ramstad, and John Kline, et al, then saw revived DFL hegemony in statewide politics, punctuated by the one-term governorship of Independent Jesse Ventura. The short-lived rise of that Minnesota Independence Party enabled Republicans to win pluralities in some three-way races, but eventually, DFL candidates, aided by greater funding and better get-out-the-vote efforts, came to dominate state politics once again.

This domination is now again in question as first-term DFL Governor Tim Walz and a slate of DFL incumbents seek re-election as the traumatic period of pandemic recedes, and “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” attempts to recover economically and spiritually from two years of lockdowns, masking, and social distancing.

To be fair, no governor of either party in any state had an easy task during the worst of the pandemic period, especially before there were vaccines, medicines, and treatments to counter the virus. With no precedent in memory, governors and health officials had to improvise and employ caution, and to depend on the often contradictory advice of self-proclaimed “experts.” Serious mistakes were made, especially with those in retirement homes, where the contagion quickly swept away the vulnerable, elderly, and infirm. For a time, most public social life was upended, commercial activity was either suspended or severely restricted, and the work place and offices closed or went virtual.

Among the hardest hit were restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, and the travel and transportation industries – as well as small businesses of almost all kinds. Many did not have the resources to survive this period, particularly in those places where lockdowns and economic restrictions were overextended by elected officials fearing a reoccurrence of mass infections.

Minnesota was such a place, especially in the urban areas where Governor Walz and big city mayors kept extending their emergency powers to mandate lockdowns and to curb social activity – while ignoring protest gatherings that often turned violent against local small businesses and their commercial property.

Governor Walz, his associates, and DFL spokespersons also played favorites with unions, including the teachers’ union, and large stores, while the concerns of parents and consumers often seemed neglected or disregarded.

The DFL voter base, much like the Democratic Party nationally, is usually a coalition of blacks, Hispanics, recent immigrants, urban and suburban women, and union members. Added to this list are many small businesspersons. But something unusual is happening. In Minnesota, union members and other blue-collar workers, suburban women, and those who own or operate small businesses appear to be drifting away from the DFL in 2022.

Dramatic increases in urban and suburban crime have alarmed everyone, and the early calls to defund the police by many DFL leaders have been abandoned belatedly except among the most radical figures, as undermanned Minneapolis and St. Paul police forces struggle to cope with the rise in crime. This appears to be especially upsetting to inner city minorities (who are often the most frequent victims of crime) and suburban women who are seeing inner city crime now seeping into their communities.

Since the DFL is in charge of governance and public safety in Minneapolis and St. Paul, it was inevitable that DFL elected officials would become the focus of many voters’ dissatisfaction. The Twin Cities will still vote overwhelmingly for DFL candidates (the local city GOP organizations no longer function effectively), but the usual strong urban DFL turnout is probably not likely in 2022.

On the other hand, Republican turnout outside of major cities seems intense and motivated in 2022 based on actual results in caucuses and voting so far.

Without heavy urban turnout, the statewide DFL advantage in Minnesota disappears. Three recent respected media polls underscore how weak Governor Walz’s re-election prospects have become. Last December, Walz was polling double digits ahead. But in latest polls, he is at 42%, and his likely Republican opponent, Dr. Scott Jensen, is at 40% – a statistical tie. Any incumbent statewide elected official under 50% this close to an election is in trouble, and Walz wasn’t even close to 50% in any of the three most recent polls.

Recent disturbances in Minneapolis on July 4th only reinforced the growing perception of ineffective public safety in the Twin Cities, almost entirely the responsibility of Governor Walz (who directs the state national guard) and the two DFL city administrations.

Dr. Jensen is making crime and public safety one of his major issues in 2022.

Another issue is the high taxes in the state — a traditional policy goal of DFL politicians, and continued by Governor Walz. The result has been departure of some Minnesota businesses and individuals to low-tax states — and an enormous tax revenue surplus.

DFL voter registration numbers exceed the GOP’s numbers, and the DFL get-out-the-vote “machine” is still very formidable, but the state’s liberal party is on the defensive this cycle, as it is across the nation, and DFL incumbents have reason to worry about their re-elections.

After Labor Day, the political tide of this cycle will be even clearer, but already it is evident that Minnesota is in play in 2022.

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Chris Grodhaus
29 days ago

The chance of Minnesota going Red is same as North Korea going capitalist.

1 month ago

Our Freedom loving US Constitutional America is being threaten by Socialist Communist and using Marxist ideologies to cause hate and division.

We as US Citizens need to rise up and talk to our Neighbors about our Freedoms for all People.

Including giving Women back their Sports. Our DNA will clearly show if you are male or female. There are coed sports.

We need to protect girls in our bathrooms. If you have female parts you are welcome in the girls bathroom.

And not allow hate to dictate our Minnesota Nice.

There is power in prayer and either we can change this dangerous path of dictatorship and forced medical mandates and ask God Almighty our creator to help US get out the truth or maybe our God is preparing us for His Coming… ?

1 month ago

HATERS like Ilhan Omar seem to get reelected. She came to America to stir the pot and spread her hate and she is winning. This country has done so much for her and her family; I don’t understand.

1 month ago

Pure speculation … will believe it if it happens. Which is doubtful.

R Aughenbaugh
1 month ago

When democrats run for election as the wild eyed socialist/communists that they are, they lose.

1 month ago

Minnesota goes as the Twin cities and other urban centers with the rest of rural DFL’ ers in the state. A popular Republican may win occasionally, but changing to a red state is unlikely.

1 month ago

I had to sign a petition to release absentee ballots sent to po boxes in mass per freedom of information act. These ballots were supposed to mailed to individuals out of Michigan for the upcoming primary election in November. Then yesterday while standing in line registering to vote an elderly couple was told they had already voted by absentee ballot. This issue involved the the election professionals calling their superiors and there was no mention of resolution. I did not see the couple being allowed to cast their ballots either. Although they both, present viamitly said we are here and did not vote absentee. So someone else had voted for them, using their absentee ballots. Yet I heard no mention of election fraud reported anywhere.

Marie Langley
1 month ago

I’ll believe it when I see it.

1 month ago

America and Minnesota are waking up to the truth and this is a good article showing the move that is going on in a better direction! Thank you AMAC

1 month ago

Anyone voting Democrat or RINO in the up coming elections is anti AMERICAN.

1 month ago

Nothing should be “in play” this upcoming election. Communists everywhere, including Minnesota, must be booted from power, or the US fails.

David Millikan
1 month ago

I’ll believe it when I see it. Minnesota is nothing but a Socialist State with Communist ties and beliefs.
How else would omar gotten elected after marrying her brother to get into the United States ILLEGALLY.

Dan Thares
1 month ago
Reply to  David Millikan

She got elected because Obama filled her district with Muslims, basically Somalies like Omar herself. Not disagreeing that the state as a whole is a liberal dump, but I dont think she would ever win a statewide election.

1 month ago
Reply to  David Millikan

Very sad voting only party line is never a good idea. That’s how we are stuck with this idiots. California is also having the same stupid moves. Keep up fighting for the right person. I’m an independent so i can choose

1 month ago

I sense a backlash on the horizon. Enough moderate Minnesotans are disgusted by the summer of 2020 and its “St. George Floyd Riots” and the seditious, anti-Semitic rants of Ilhan Omar.

Philip Hammersley
1 month ago

Coleman had his re-election literally STOLEN when thousands of ballots were “found” in the trunk of a car days AFTER the election. Amazingly, almost all of them were in favor of failed comedian “Stuart Smalley.” Never underestimate the crookedness of DIMMs.

Barrett Smith
1 month ago

We shall see if this truly happens.

1 month ago

It is difficult to accurately assess what the majority of any Americans think from election results in recent times … and in some past eras. This largely because in most cases, such as the Biden election, that the election was rigged … and there was no valid process to investigate it and no way to correct it. The National election MUST be done right and honestly in one shot only.

1 month ago

Some of the people endorsed by Trump are sending votes to the other side. I know of one Western State that he endorsed the worst Gov. candidate in the race in Primary & was defeated about 3:1. Makes me wonder about his other endorsements, & most are in his favor cuz they question 2020 election & believe the Big Lie.

Nobody’s Business
1 month ago

It won’t happen, the Twin Cities, control the vote in Mn. The people in the Twin Cities think they are way smarter than everyone else and Democrats stay together even when they see their party ruin everything. Most of Mn is fairly conservatives but not enough people to block the idiots that are the Democrats.

1 month ago

This is also the case in Illinois where Chicago, Cook County and now the surrounding suburban communities are solidly blue. “Downstate” Illinois used to be able to put together enough votes to offset the Chicago Democrat “machine”. No longer. That’s the reason is in such s**t shape..and getting worse.

1 month ago
Reply to  Leesson1

I was going to say that about Illinois. Many states, like Illinois and California, with big cities, are being controlled by them. We had a bollot item last election about separating the rest of Illinois from Chicago. I never heard what the result of that was.

Kevin S
1 month ago

I’m in another – Detroit ruins policies for the rest of us. Can we pay Windsor to annex them??

1 month ago

People that vote & trust election results are the ones that will decide all elections. If you do not vote cuz you think all elections are fraudulent, you are missing the big picture in America. Also, I will not vote for any candidate that will refuse to leave office if he loses election. All elections must have a winner and a loser.

1 month ago
Reply to  johnh

And in the last election we got a real loser! Joe Biden. And we will all pay lots!!

Smili'in Jack
1 month ago

Sounds so positive and maybe it is but history tells us how all so often, The Republicans can manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As long as the Republicans remain basically timid and unlikely to make hay while the sun shines, We can only hope they will finally wake up before they fall back to sleep again.

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