Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who Takes the Prize in the Eighth?

[you can read my review of the 8 Congressional Districts of Minnesota here]

In the eighth district you have what is turning out to be a lively race, where little or no challenge was expected.

The seat is held by Jim Oberstar. He was born in Chisolm got a B.A. from Saint Thomas and a masters degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges Belgium.

For twelve years Jim was the chief staff assistant to then 14 term Representative John Blatnic. When he decided to not run again he endorsed Jim and he won.

Jim has been re-elected sixteen times, and conventional wisdom says he is a runaway to win it again this year.

However things have changed a little since his last election.

These changing situations appear to Jim and the voters of the 8th district in the form of one Chip Cravaack.

Chip was born in Charlston West Virginia and received a Bachelor of Science degree from United States Naval Academy and a Masters Degree in Education from University of West Florida.

Chip is offering a real challenge to our longest sitting house member in Minnesota history.

Chip lives in Chisago City with his family.
Jim lives in Potomac Maryland and owns his boyhood home in Chisolm.

I'll put it bluntly.
Jim Oberstar is a rude, arrogant, entrenched, politician prone to berate and bully his way through any challenges he and his hard DFL positions may encounter.

I've dealt with him personally and I think he is a pompous ass.
He is very comfortable in his position.

The 8th district of Minnesota has always been a DFL stronghold.

Yet there has been a generational shift and the results of decades of more and more programs and agencies has not made the standard of living in the rugged north that much better.

The mines are having trouble with the agencies and the programs don't do anything productive.

The economy in the 8th is not good and hasn't been for a while.
Jim and his party are, for the first time in living memory, being asked serious questions.

Jim and his party typically respond with bluster and name calling and thats what we are getting from Jim Oberstar and the DFL party.

Jim and his abrasive ways do not play well live and in debate.

Chip is getting support and is a stand up guy.
I hope he win.

I really, really hope he wins.

The odds are against him because of the unique makeup of the 8th district and the inertia of such a long incumbency, even with a voting record like Jim's.

Yet the people are awake and today they vote.
In the sober light of the morning I think Jim will win by a nose. I give Jim 3 to 2 odds to win.

But if I am wrong and Chip wins, I may move back to the district of my birth.


There you have it.

I expect
the 1st to Randy Demmer. (thats a risky call but I'm making it)
the 2nd to John Kline
the 3rd to Eric Paulsen
the 4th to is 50/50 so it leans to B. Mccullom
the 5th to Kieth Ellison
the 6th to Michele Bachmann
the 7th to Colin Peterson
the 8th to Jim Oberstar

I predict the Governors race is won by Tom Emmer.


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