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Election Day prognostications

By Staff | Nov 3, 2014

Only a couple more days and it will all be over. And, not a minute too soon.

The election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 4, and by the next day we should know who the winners are.

Of course, the last time Senator Al Franken was elected, it took several months to decide who had actually won.

I doubt it will be that close again.

Right now, the television commercials are coming fast and furious, nearly non-stop. It is enough to drive you crazy. Or turn off the TV.

To be honest, I am not even sure who some of the people are in these commercials. That could be because they are in another district, and I couldn’t vote for them, even if I wanted to.

Some of the negative, nasty ads make me want to vote for the guy they are smearing with mud just because I feel sorry for him getting attacked by some unknown committee.

Are these ads really effective? Political pundits sure must think so. There sure seem to be a lot of these negative ads out there. And some have been proven to be full of half truths or downright lies.

Still, somebody thinks this is the way to get elected.

But, are there really that many people who are out there ready to vote who have not already made up their minds, months ago?

Maybe.

I am pretty sure I know who I am going to vote for, in most cases. Except maybe that long list of judges. It is always a temptation to write in my own name, the name of a friend or maybe Mickey Mouse.

But, that would be wasted effort.

If you want to know who is going to win each seat, the answer is easy. The person with the most votes.

Seriously though, in most cases if I am trying to guess who is going to win, I pick the incumbent even though I may not have voted for him or her.

It is just darn hard to unseat someone already in the office unless they have done something dumb, illegal or immoral. And sometimes, even that isn’t enough to make them lose to a challenger.

So I will be mildly surprised on Wednesday morning if state winners are not Mark Dayton, Dan Severson, Rebecca Otto, Lori Swanson, Al Franken, Tim Walz, Bob Gunther and Shannon Savick.

Not shocked, mind you, but surprised.

Of course, it would be a shock if Chris Wright is elected governor and Judith Schwartzbacker is elected state auditor and Dan Vacek state attorney general.

These three are running either with the ‘Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis’ party or the ‘Legal Marijuana Now’ party.

Hmm…. I wonder what their party platform is?

The same philosophy that incumbents have an advantage spills over to the local elections as well.

Although I have to admit that both challengers to the Faribault County Commissioner open seats, Milton Steele and Rob Nelson, are running very aggressive campaigns against incumbents Greg Young and Tom Loveall. Both have run before. These two races might be too close to call.

For the most part, many county voters are going to see just one name on the ballot to select from, unless they write in a name.

In a few cases, such as Winnebago and Easton City Council seats, voters have to write in a name, as there are unfilled spots.

Just remember to darken the oval by the name you write in to make sure your vote counts.

The incumbent theory does not work real well for both the Blue Earth City Council and Blue Earth Area School races.

Four people are running for three open seats on the City Council (not counting a fifth name, Travis Fenske, who has withdrawn from the race). Two of the people running are incumbents. But, the other two are sort of incumbents, as they have served on the council in the past.

That is too tough to try and call.

And on the BEA School Board election, five people are running for four spots, but only one is an incumbent.

I figure the incumbent, Sheila Ripley, will win, but which three of the other four will be selected is anyone’s guess.

Also too hard to call is the City Council race in Bricelyn where 10 folks in that small town are running for the five spots on the council (including the mayoral seat.)

That will be interesting to see who wins all those contested races.

And, come Wednesday morning, we will know just who all the winners are, locally and statewide.

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday.