The stereotype is that MN-01 is all about agriculture, and the Mayo Clinic. There's a lot more going on than that. But bountiful fields under gorgeous skies make for good "featured images" (
by Dan Burns
Mar 30, 2022, 8:00 AM

MN-01 special election: Is Trump fading as a factor?

Walker Orenstein does a lot of good reporting. From an article of his that got my attention, a couple of days ago:

Early voting for the May 24 primary for the special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District starts next Friday, and candidates have begun crisscrossing the region to court voters in the furious sprint of a campaign that began for some as recently as mid-March.

One place to reach those voters is at small party conventions around the district, where activists are electing delegates to larger congressional district and statewide conventions. On Saturday, most of the 10 Republican candidates for the 1st District showed up to the Byron Middle School auditorium in the town just west of Rochester for the Olmsted County GOP’s convention. Olmsted is the most populous county in the 1st District…

Former president Donald Trump wasn’t front and center in most candidate speeches or in political paraphernalia at the convention Saturday, and neither was current president Joe Biden.

I live about an hour north of Minneapolis, in what’s part exurb and part still rural small town. I’ve noticed fewer and fewer Trump signs and flags still being displayed, in town and in the surrounding countryside. And that trend has been accelerating recently, much of which has to do with flags having become faded tatters, and finally being removed and – the important point – not replaced. The context of that is that my pre-redistricting SD, 15, and HD, 15A, went heavily for Trump. Indeed, embarrassingly so.

Of course I’m well aware that those who had the flags, wrap-around banners on their decks, and so forth, haven’t really changed their socio-political agendas. The glorification of bigotry and deliberate ignorance, and the associated extreme gullibility, have always been major factors in politics, worldwide. There’s just not quite the same devotion to a particular, and particularly odious and contemptible, individual. Namely, Trump.

Progressive Twitter remains constantly replete with expressions of anguish, that Trump has not yet been indicted, convicted, and imprisoned. My take on that includes the following (as always with the caveat that events have, on plenty of occasions, shown my prognostications to have been dead wrong):

– The Democratic Party powers-that-be believe that we’re better off, politically, with Trump still out there, being his sorry self. I happen to agree.

– There will eventually be indictments, but with the intent of running him out of the country. Like many, if I was to wager on where he’ll end up it would be Dubai. The point is that they don’t want some ridiculous show trial overwhelming everything else political.

– The plutocrats who really run this country wanted Trump gone, and they don’t want him back. He’s not going to be president again, whatever it takes.

This isn’t just about MN-01. It’s about whether Trump is, albeit slowly and fitfully, moving toward something near political irrelevance overall. That’s a complicated question, but I think the answer generally is yes. And progressives will have to adjust politically, with our ultra-convenient bogeyman actually mattering less and less. That adjustment seems to me to be happening, too.

Comment from Mac: Side comment : On Thursday, the House passed Angie Craig’s bill — HR 6833 Affordable Insulin Now Act with 193 Republicans voting NO including Emmer, Fischbach and Stauber). Yet the reaction seemed to be more complaining than rejoicing at getting something done. The complaints ranged from that there is a copay, that it only covers patients who have insurance, to it won’t go into effect until next year.

Isn’t that part of the problem … unwilling to accept small steps ? The bill may be dead in the Senate (even though it has Manchin’s support) unless Susan Collins can draft a bipartisan proposal.

Did holding out for a better infrastructure bill help Dems ? As of now, construction jobs are back to pre-pandemic levels … could you imagine what that would have done to create jobs and make voters see active projects when they go to the polls in November ?

Instead, “people” are buying into blaming Biden for supply chain issues …. just as 43 Republicans just voted against HR6865 which will address the West Coast docks. And they blame Biden for heating prices — even though we are exporting more LNG causing domestic prices to rise. And they blame Biden for gas prices when Big Oil decides when to drill … and based on current prices, there should be a lot more active … last week the count of active drill rigs went up just 3.

The GOP candidates have the advantage … they can just complain, blame Biden and vote against bills that the majority of people support. Case in point, yesterday, the House passed marijuana legislation that would have reduced the deficit by $2.908 Billion over 10 years — NOT including a net savings of $800 million in Bureau of Prisons’ costs … as only 3 Republicans supported it. So Minnesota’s First District will have candidates from the Legalize Marijuana and Grassroots Legalize Cannabis on the ballot who will get votes …. effectively diluting the pool of voters.

IMO, MN01 will be a tough place to win in a Special Election where few in-person voters will participate (main-in precincts will favor the Republican) …. but the November election when Walz is on the ballot should be the goal — make contacts now … focus on the votes that the GOP winner has to make in August and September and expose him for being out of sync.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.