After last night

The interesting races in Minnesota’s primary yesterday took place on the DFL (Democratic) side. I commented on all of them and anticipated the results yesterday morning before the polls opened in “Primary day in Minnesota.” John provided his observations on the results after the polls closed in the adjacent post. I find what is happening here in Minnesota illustrative of national themes. I want to add 12 observations in the cold light of the morning after.

• In Minnesota we have a single primary ballot that includes Democratic and Republican columns. The voter is to confine his choices to Column A or Column B. He is not to take one from each column. Doing so would spoil the ballot. Democrats didn’t have any trouble keeping it straight yesterday.

• Democratic turnout was impressive for a primary. In the 2010 primary that featuring a marquee contest for the gubernatorial endorsement the DFL candidates split about 435,000 votes. (Check my arithmetic here.) Yesterday the DFL gubernatorial candidates split about 580,000 votes. (Check my arithmetic here.)

• In Amy Klobuchar’s essentially uncontested bid to wear the DFL label in her contest for reelection, Klobuchar all by herself attracted 554,000 votes.

• Appointed Senate incumbent Tina Smith crushed Professor Richard Richard Painter in the other DFL Senate race. Until this year Painter has held himself on CNN and MSNBC out as a Republican critic of President Trump. His defeat represents a double loss. He lost (or should lose) the cable gig as a Republican Trump critic too.

• Keith Ellison challenged the endorsed DFL candidate for attorney general — “gay millennial” Matt Pelikan. Ellison is a hustler and a demagogue who is monumentally unfit for the office of attorney general in particular. He is a big fan of cop killers, as I show this morning in the long Weekly Standard column “Can Keith Ellison turn lawman?” This is a vastly underreported story with respect to which word should get out one way or another. Please pass it on.

• John is happy Ellison won the DFL primary. I am not. John thinks Ellison is a weaker candidate for attorney general than his DFL rivals. I don’t think so. And I don’t think it is worth the substantial risk that Ellison will win the election. No Republican has won an election for attorney general in Minnesota since 1966. Ellison has to be figured the heavy favorite to win this race.

• The late-breaking charges of domestic abuse involving Ellison didn’t really have a chance to sink in before the primary. Maybe they will play a larger role in the election, but I wouldn’t count on it. Warning: Don’t make Ellison mad in the meantime!

• Republicans gave the nod to endorsed candidate Doug Wardlow for attorney general. Doug is a good and serious candidate.

• “Gay millennial” Erin Maye Quade went down to defeat as the running mate of endorsed DFL gubernatorial candidate Erin Murphy. It was a bad day for Erins and for “gay millennials” on the DFL ballot, although the Murphy-Maye Quade ticket placed second rather than (as I thought it would) third.

• In the competitive three-way race to succeed Keith Ellison in the Fifth District, Ilhan Omar cruised to victory with 48 percent of the vote. The Fifth District is one-party territory. As a practical matter, the primary was the election in the Fifth District. Star Tribune editor Rene Sanchez does not seem to understand this salient fact. It is a shame that the Star Tribune performed so pitifully in covering the candidates in this primary race. The reporters and editors really ought to be ashamed of the newspaper’s performance. To say the least, they have served their readers poorly.

• The Fifth District race also bears on my point about DFL turnout. The last competitive primary in the district took place in 2006. Ellison won the 2006 primary with 29,000 votes (41 percent). Omar won the primary yesterday with 65,000 votes (48 percent). The Star Tribune performed pitifully in that race too.

• DFL turnout dwarfed Republican turnout. The Democrats had all the interesting races, but one has to figure that Republicans have an uphill battle in the races that should be competitive here in November.

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