Scribners 1880 Popular Vote (
by Tony Petrangelo
Nov 17, 2013, 12:00 PM

The Weekly Wrap 11-17

♣ The big story that dropped in last Sunday’s edition of the StarTribune was that the electronic campaign finance records curated by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board were riddled with errors:

About 7,000 records of donations between Minnesota groups are incorrect — an error rate of about one in seven. Electronic records dating to 2001 show that such groups may have donated as much as $143 million or as little as $122 million. The flaws are enough to hamper any comprehensive attempt to examine the flow of political money in the state, at a time when that spending has soared to record heights.

♣ On Monday the ballots were ranked according to choices in the race for the Ward 1 seat on the St. Paul City council. Dai Thao defeated Noel Nix 1970-1722, or 41%-36%.

Unlike in the City of Minneapolis, in St. Paul voters got to rank all of the choices, and yet, despite this, the victor only managed to get to 41%. For an idea why that would be the case, here is a graph of the total number of votes cast by choice number:

st paul ward 1 votes by choice

You can see that by the time we get to third choices, there are only about half the number of first choices. And going from third to forth is another halfing. Only 25% of voters to cast ballots in this election took advantage of the forth choice option that they wouldn’t have gotten in Minneapolis. And for every round there is a not insignificant drop-off.

It doesn’t really do any good to allow people to rank all the choices if they don’t rank all the choices.

♣ In news that is of the not-shocking variety, it appears that Marty Seifert’s dalliance with running for Governor again may soon be over, in that he’s going to run for governor:

Marty Seifert, a Republican candidate for governor in 2010, will give it another try: He plans to announce Nov. 21 that will seek the GOP endorsement for governor, sources confirm.

If you recall last weeks Wrap, there was an item indicating that this announcement would come on the 18th, or tomorrow. The 21st is not the 18th though. So this is a new thing!

It may have been surprising to some how well Seifert did in the GOP straw poll last month, but his announcement of a run for Governor is thoroughly unsurprising if you’ve been following The Wrap, I wrote this, about possible 2014 GOP Gubernatorial candidates, over a year ago:

After a whole timeline of sporadic tweeting, Marty Seifert has been quite active over the past few days.


♣ And while Seifert is getting in, another possible candidate is apparently not getting in:

According to multiple sources, State Senator Julie Rosen has decided against running for governor in 2014.

♣ A DFLer has annouced for the Minnesota house 14A race:

Dan Wolgamott, a 23-year-old DFL activist from St. Cloud, says he’s running for the state House seat now held by GOP Rep. Tama Theis.

Wolgamott, a real estate agent and football coach at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, has a track record in local DFL politics. He managed former Rep. Larry Hosch’s campaign in 2010 and also worked for the campaigns of Rep. Zachary Dorholt in 2012 and Joanne Dorsher, whom Theis beat in a special election earlier this year.

As indicated in the above quoted text, 14A is currently held by GOP Representative Tama Theis (14A), who won her seat in a February bonus election 55%-43%, a similar outcome to the 54%-46% that former Rep. Steve Gottwalt received in the November regular election.

The district’s hPVI though is only R+3, territory very much within reach for the DFL, and an indication that the district may be slightly more winnable than the past legislative results would indicate.

♣ In last weeks Wrap was this:

Rep. Andrea Kieffer has decided against seeking re-election to her Woodbury seat.

And later on in the same item:

Blois already has some possible names of GOP candidates:

Two names quickly emerged to replace Keiffer on the GOP side. First is MN GOP Deputy Chair Kelly Fenton the other is former Mrs. Minnesota Kelly Jahner-Byrne who was also then Secy. of State Mary Kiffmeyer’s 2002 campaign manager.

And this week:

Kelly Fenton of Woodbury is seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury.

♣ The picture at the top of this post is from the 1880 Presidential election and is really a thing to behold. The map colored by county in the now familiar red-blue format. If you look at the by-state map in the inset, you can see that the colors are not much changed since 1880 and now:


Not much has changed in the preceding 130 years, well not much except for the fact that this map uses the color red to identify the Democratic party and the color blue to identify the Republican party. So everything has in fact changed.

It’s an endlessly facsinating map though, so follow the link and check out the full-sized version.

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