The Nov 10 Post-Election edition struck a nerve for some readers, in particular a couple of sentences. In retrospect, I (your Newsletter editor since early 2016) should have claimed a by-line for the Election Results article since some have presumed the SD50 Communications Chair authored it. I've updated the by-line on the website.
To clarify: No, not everyone on your 4-person Communications Team is planning to leave MN. That mention incensed a couple of "Never give up" and "MN is the only place worth living" readers. The sentence has been corrected to say "some" have plans to leave.
And yes, looking at the SD50 precinct-by-precinct results and the 70% of registered voters turnout confirms that those who voted almost 2:1 for the DFL slate are, indeed, our neighbors. If they weren't driven by opposing views and values, what was their reasoning? We'd welcome your e-mailed comments if you know reasons why folks in SD50 voted DFL.
Sure, we may be able to cordially chat with our neighbors about boating, sports, gardening or good restaurants. But delving into deeper, meaningful, issues will quickly reveal the extent of our division. Imagine how a discussion of any one of these might go: crime, taxes, education, "systemic racism", role of government, "emergency powers", election controls enforcement, gun control, state abortion laws.
Commenters asked whether voting fraud was likely an explanation for the wide margin. I've not seen or heard any allegations of that in MN. Republicans stepped up this year as election judges to provide better balance for in-person sites, and absentee ballot numbers were lower than in 2020. The lengthy early-voting timespan, which started Sept. 23 this year, and the use of staff rather than party-balanced election judges in some cities/counties for handling absentee ballots remain areas where "free and fair" election controls could improve.
A “never give up” caller pointed out a technique Republicans could copy. Democrats have a strong organized strategy to take advantage of early voting, making sure absentee ballots get to and are returned by those who previously voted absentee such as nursing home residents, apartment dwellers, college students, etc. This has the effect of “nailing down” as many votes as possible before events that might sway opinions occur, such as debates (finally held in late October), heavy concentration of TV ads/counter-ads, or late-breaking news (e.g., the Sept 22 Feeding Our Futures indictments and ties).
A Nov. 9 analysis article "More of the Same Please" by David Zimmer at Center of the American Experiment garnered similar reactions, and both the article and comments make interesting reading.
Below are additional analysis article links that provide insights on "What Happened??!??"