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McFeely: Red wave? Not nationally and certainly not in Minnesota

Democrats do better-than-forecasted nationally and continue hold on statewide offices in Minnesota

Tim Walz
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks at the Moorhead Center Mall Friday, Sept. 23, about early voting.
Sam Goetzinger / WDAY News
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MOORHEAD — There was no red wave, despite the breathless reporting of national political media and poll after poll after poll showing Republicans trouncing Democrats in every key race.

We were told President Joe Biden was deeply unpopular and that Democrats were going to pay the price.

Tuesday was going to be the most depressing day for lefties since Nov. 8, 2016, we were told.

Instead it turned out to be a day when Democrats defied historical odds and the gloom-and-doom forecasts brayed by the experts.

Is there a chance cable TV commentators and website pundits learn a lesson about gobbling up Republican propaganda about red waves and spewing it unfiltered to the public?

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No, there's not.

Nationally, Democrats could keep control of the U.S. Senate and Republicans are on track for a slim majority in the U.S. House. Like, slim enough that it will be difficult to get anything done.

Anointed by the national political media as the GOP's next big star, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was on the precipice of losing.

The phrase #RedTrickle was trending on Twitter. Not only wasn't there a red wave, there was barely a pink ripple.

And that includes Minnesota, where polls showed incumbent DFLers like Gov. Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison and State Auditor Julie Blaha in potential trouble. Ellison and Blaha were written off as politically dead by the pollsters.

News organizations called the governor's race for Walz by 10:30 p.m. while it appeared Ellison and Blaha were in strong positions to win re-election.

All the fear-mongering about crime and violence in the Twin Cities amounted to nothing for Republicans. DFL statewide candidates increased their margins in the seven-county metro area compared to the last midterm election in 2018.

The DFL, in fact, flipped the Minnesota Senate, giving them the trifecta of political power — the Senate, the House and the governor's office — for the first time in a decade.

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It wasn't a bad day for progressives in Moorhead, either.

The three Looney Tune candidates for the Moorhead school board — Ken Lucier, Lisa Hahan and Nikki Pollock — didn't come close to being elected. The voters said no to book bannings and Christian nationalists on the local school board and yes to reasonable candidates.

Moorhead voters overwhelmingly voted for a 1/2-cent sales tax to fund a new library and community center. They voted to tax themselves to improve the community.

DFL state Rep. Heather Keeler won re-election to represent Moorhead in St. Paul by a 59% to 41% margin. DFL state senate candidate Rob Kupec comfortably defeated former Moorhead city council member Dan Bohmer.

About the only rough news for Democrats locally was that Rep. Paul Marquart's former seat in House District 4B -- he retired after a long career in the legislature instead of running for re-election -- easily went to Republican Jim Joy.

There was no red wave. And it appears Republicans will again not win a statewide race in Minnesota, something they last did in 2006.

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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