According to this Strib article, Marty Seifert sees the pendulum swinging back in the GOP’s direction. The basis for his opinion is Steve Drazkowski’s special election victory Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, celebrated the victory, calling it evidence “of a return to normalcy,” particularly, he said, since significant attention from transportation advocates, unions and progressive groups had devoted so much attention to Pfeilsticker’s campaign.

“To win by several hundred votes in a special election when the national feeling about Republicans is the way it is, this has to be seen as a resounding victory,” he said.

Considering all the money that Education Minnesota, the DFL and the unions poured into the district, this is a solid victory. Part of the DFL’s problem was that they ran a candidate who hadn’t run for office before. Her not showing up for a Taxpayers League forum sent the message that she wasn’t interested in voters who cared about low taxes.

The major contributing factor, though, was the DFL’s first mailing. You’ll recall that that mailing accused Steve Drazkowski of turning “his back on her”, a reference to his daughter. As I said at the time, that was the DFL essentially saying that they couldn’t win the race on the battlefield of ideas. They had to do everything possible to drive GOP turnout down if their candidate had any shot at winning.

The things that factored most into the DFL’s defeat were the DFL’s negativity and Ms. Pfeilsticker’s evasiveness. Minnesotans enjoy a lively back-and-forth but they also demand politeness. When the DFL sent out a mailing that dragged Mr. Drazkowski’s daughter into the campaign, I’d bet a fistful of money that they alienated a bunch of voters. I’d also bet a fistful that they fired up GOP activists to go to 28B and knock on doors or do lit drops. They also contributed fistfuls of money so the campaign could get their message out.

The scuttlebutt that I’m hearing is that the DFL poured about $250K into the race. That isn’t including all the money and people that the unions and Education Minnesota poured into the election.

Considering the effort that these DFL-oriented organizations put into this election, this is a big morale boost to the GOP. It’s also vindication that our GOTV operation is effective when our troops are properly motivated. They definitely did their job, largely because Representative-elect Drazkowski touched base with all of the key constituencies of the GOP.

Some are saying that we should’ve expected to win this race because it’s been a Republican seat for so long. There’s some truth to that, though I’d point out that we lost Phil Krinkie’s seat 10 short months earlier.

The pall of last November’s election disaster is lifting but we need to sustain the momentum that we’ve been seeing. To sustain that momentum, I’d suggest that we look no further than this special election and this year’s legislative session as motivators for GOP activists.

This year’s legislative session was a disaster in terms of getting any part of the GOP agenda passed. The DFL ran roughshod over the GOP. That was caused by the DFL’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach more than anything else. I’d suggest that had it been on the merits of whose legislation made more sense, the DFL wouldn’t have gotten many of their bills passed.

That’s why it’s time for GOP activists to get active in recruiting independents and Lieberman liberals into the party.

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2 Responses to “A Return to Normalcy?”

  • mike says:

    lieberman liberal?
    that’s right up there with honest conservative… or is it compassionate conservative…

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