"In any event, numbers will be the name of the game. Getting the vote out. Spreading the message. We can do this. We will do this. For the sake of our kids and grand kids, we have to do this."
Over the next twelve weeks, this topic is going to be a recurring theme. Why? It will be the one variable which will spell either defeat or victory in November. Some call it turnout, some just call it numbers. I like to call it engagement. Engagement when people make that transition from spectator to player.
How do I know? I spent a good part of my life as a spectator. I was very good at it. "Let someone else do it, it will get done", I would often think. The problem is, many others also thought the same way. The result - Minnesota has drifted from a dark red, to purple to light blue.
I have told this story a few times over the past couple of years. Two years ago, my wife and I were conveners at our precinct caucus. As it was a presidential year, we were expecting a few more folks to show up than the 13 who showed up two years before. 102 people showed up! Just in our precinct! In the room next to ours was a precinct from another senate district. They had 140. To make a long story short, between my senate district and the neighboring senate district, we had thousands of registered Republicans show up for caucus night.
Here is the problem. According to a January 2018 Star Tribune poll, the number of people who identify with Republicans and Democrats in this state is now about dead even. The Democrats have about a 2% edge with a 3.5% margin of error. Okay, that does not sound too awful bad. However, the real problem was exposed in the turnout for the primary. The Democrats beat the Republicans in turn out by about 2 to 1. In CD 5, the difference in turn out was much, much worse.
The problem and the solution to that problem are both within our grasp. A few years ago, one of my long time friends challenged me on my participation in politics. I complained a lot about the lay of the land (politically), but did little else. She asked me one day what I was doing to change things. I told her I voted and had a yard sign. "Okay, that is a good start. And what else? Are you walking in parades? Contributing money? Phone calling? Door knocking?"
I replied sheepishly that I did none of those. She reminded me the team which wins, always has a cadre of volunteers looking for what else can be done to ensure victory. That conversation started a turn around for me. How I would live my life during campaign season. How "deep in the pool" I would go for a candidate I believed in.
Now I am swimming in the deep end of the pool, have nary a regret, and my mission is as clear as a bell. Do whatever I can to help turn this progressive state around, and thereby change the color back to red!
I have never in my adult life seen our MN GOP bench as strong as it is this year. Even the national pundits are now saying that CD 1 and CD 8 are goners for the DFL. I also think people have had enough of Collin Peterson in CD 7 and that could also be ours. CD 5 is a MUST HAVE. We cannot have this Omar woman win in that district! It would be disaster for Minnesota!
This could be the year folks. The year we have been waiting for. This is what I see. A majority for the MN GOP in Congressional seats; picking up at least one Senate seat; the Governor for sure; Attorney General and the State Auditor. As much as I would also like to get the SOS position, that might be a bridge too far this year.
In any event, numbers will be the name of the game. Getting the vote out. Spreading the message. We can do this. We will do this. For the sake of our kids and grand kids, we have to do this.