Monday, March 26, 2007

How the west was lost

A loyal North Star Liberty reader shared some interesting data about 2006 campaign expenditures with me last week. The data was compiled from reports from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The data shows that the Dems outspent, and one could infer, outfundraised their Republican rivals by a significant margin. For example, Sen. Terri Bonoff's (DFL-Minnetonka) campaign received from the DFL state party and the DFL Senate caucus nearly $190,000 — six times the amount received by Republican candidate Judy Johnson from the Republican Party of Minnesota and Republican Senate caucus. Judging by the independent direct mail pieces on behalf of Johnson that I saw (which is to say, few if any that I recall), I wonder of the RPM spent anything on Johnson's campaign. When you take into account all spending, Bonoff's campaign outspent Johnson by over 3-to-1.

(It may be small comfort, but considering by how much they were outspent, SD 43 Republicans can claim a more efficient campaign. The margin of victory in this race was 1400 votes or 4 percentage points. The swing vote was only about 700. Do the math.)

The job of the state political party is to elect a majority in both houses of the Legislature and in all statewide offices. 2002 and 2004 were good years for Republicans. 2006 was a bad year. It remains to be seen whether the west, and the rest, can be won next time.

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