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MYDFL Rates Possible Candidates for Governor

by Grace Kelly on March 30, 2009 · 11 comments

Instead of pundits, I wanted a target group of smart savvy young political volunteers to rate the possible candidates for governor. I found 24 MYDFL volunteers to rate the candidates, at a MYDFL event where the candidates were speaking. Tom Bakk sent in a substitute. Chris Coleman came in for an unscheduled speech, which is why his name is not on the form.  

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Kudos to Christian for the improved graph!
So what to take away from this? A difference should be more than “.2″ to be significant, so I would see a 2.0 and 2.1 as about the same. A whole point is definitely significant.

The most significant ranking from this group is volunteering, which was actually a longer question on the form. This statewide group of young people are high commitment volunteers, who make a campaign successful. So the fact that R.T. Ryback had 1.5 rating shows great promise, where Susan Gaertner’s 3.2 rating below “OK” should be worrisome.

All the candidates are in the acceptable to great range. The NON-candidates of Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, Tarryl Clark and R.T. Rybak did surprisingly well. Tom Bakk’s numbers may just show how important that is to show up in person and not send a substitute. Definitely being out of office was a disadvantage for candidates.  

Tarryl Clark has the best audience connection of all, both in my opinion and in her score, “1.2″. Many candidates feel like they are on auto-play, and it affects the audience. The speeches were  live streamed via Uptake and might be available later on Uptake.

Social networking is an important skill of politics. I connect with MYDFLers because I am there all day, I respect them and I am listening to them (that overcomes the gray hair). Most of these candidates are just doing drive-by speeches. I think candidates end up having more road time and less people time. The more experienced candidates shook everyone’s hand in the audience. Rebecca Otto, who is campaigning for re-election as auditor, was the master of just being present in the audience, catching a person’s eye and just smiling at people. On the other end of the scale, Susan Gaertner seemed lost in her own thoughts.

So perhaps people can do their own analysis in the comments. Perhaps some of the people who took the survey could comment on what made the differences in rankings between the candidates.

More on great ideas from the MYDFL in a later article.

Update: Just to make this abundantly clear, this was a “fun” volunteer activity by a number of volunteers who happen to be in the MYDFL, not anything that could be an official MYDFL action!


Populista March 30, 2009 at 1:28 am

Us young uns really like R.T. I guess. Tied with Thissen and Kelliher for votes and only loses to Clark in speaking. More importantly is the trust, agreement on issues and as a result excitement (volunteer). Thanks for posting Kelly.  

roughrider March 30, 2009 at 5:38 am

I was at the event yesterday and found it a great opportunity to see everyone (except Bakk) in action.  RT is one of the great speakers around.  Big question will be whether he can sell himself outside of the 612.  I left very impressed by Paul Thissen.  This Paul comes across with the honesty, earnestness, and ethic of another (Wellstone).  Couple of big disappointments in Entenza and Dayton.  Matt comes across as the high-school kid trying to buy the homecoming king crown.  I think he’s forever tainted by the scandal with Hatch.  Dayton stills brings the fire, but he is all over the place in his message.  

Judeling March 30, 2009 at 2:06 am

The chart seems to show that Rybak’s early and extensive support for Obama is playing dividends. The question is can this carry on and can it play well outstate.

Joe Bodell March 30, 2009 at 4:50 am

If MYDFL = young people = people who supported Obama in huge numbers = people who showed up to Obama events = people who saw a lot of Rybak around the state in 2007/2008, then there’s a good chance you’re right on the money.

NorthernDebater March 30, 2009 at 5:43 am

So uh, you hand picked 24 people to rate the candidates on vague subjects?

This is not a scientific sample nor do the values don’t end up having any necessary consistency across individuals.

Ultimately, while this might have been a fun activity for you and those who may have taken it, absolutely no conclusions can be drawn from this survey.

Since you don’t say that in your article, I think its important to make that point.  

Grace Kelly March 30, 2009 at 6:41 am

I asked for volunteers.

Joe Bodell March 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Sample size is a concern, but that’s the problem with ANY survey until the primary election. Even then, trying to predict behavior is a crapshoot. But I think this exercise was instructive — the next time we have an opportunity like this, I think we’ll try to expand it to a larger sample by handing out even more ballots and getting a wider range of numbers in the mix.

ericf March 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

Though long election cycles make it feel like we’re deep in the governor race, this is just the beginning, and the candidates are still trying to win over small groups and individuals. It’s unusual to get this detailed a result, but this is a typical audience.

Also, don’t forget that the candidates are just getting a feel for the campaign like we’re just getting a feel for them. They might change considerably when the caucuses start. Hopefully they’ll figure out their own stylistic weaknesses, the tough questions they need to answer, what their policy agenda needs to be and how to communicate it. Those that do are the ones we’ll be talking about in a year.  

Grace Kelly March 30, 2009 at 8:41 am

The intent here is to give an early indication of what needs fixing, not predict the next election.  

MNforMarty April 21, 2009 at 12:04 am

MN needs Marty’s bold leadership! He stands out from the rest of this crowd because he has been fighting for GLBT, women’s rights, middle and lower class Minnesotans and the environment.  I think the Trust that he has instilled in voters isn’t comparable to the other candidates. Check out his voting record, he was ahead of his time when he entered into office, never letting fear direct his vote, but always compassion and fighting for what’s right. I fully support John Marty and I too am a young DFLer!  

Grace Kelly April 18, 2009 at 12:46 am

I was trying not to release the article until 2. The software does not remember future release, so a fix of editing error inadvertently released it early. You are just so fast!

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