Right about now is when all “the buzz” is supposed to start for the 2012 Senate race. This is prime Senate candidate announcement time, and the rumors should be flying.
- On February 9, 1999, Mark Dayton announced his candidacy to run for Senate against Sen. Rod Grams.
- On February 11, 2002, Norm Coleman announced his challenge to Sen. Paul Wellstone.
- On February 11, 2005, Mark Kennedy was the first candidate to officially announce his intention to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Mark Dayton. Amy Klobuchar was a little later, announcing her intention to run on April 17, 2005.
- In 2007, Al Franken announced his run on February 14, 2007.
Generally, it seems a candidate announces their candidacy about February 11. This year is a little different. Instead of candidates throwing their hats in the ring, they are keeping them firmly on their head. So far, Norm Coleman, Laura Brod, Marty Seifert, and state Sen. Julie Rosen have all said no, while other potential candidates are talking about 2014.
So who will it be? A second tier candidate? A young upstart? GOP Chair Tony Sutton isn’t worried. In a Tom Scheck report “Sutton said he thinks a candidate will still have time to campaign and raise money if he or she announces by the summer.”
Sutton is right, the candidate will still have time to campaign and raise money. The question is will there be enough time to defeat Amy Klobuchar. Tony Sutton called Sen. Klobuchar’s support “a mile wide and an inch deep.”
He is right about the mile wide, but his depth estimation seems a little off. Sen. Klobuchar has been a very solid Senator. She might not be well liked by the far left or the far right, but she is willing to listen to both sides and she has proven a willingness to make logical compromises to get things done. That appeals to the massive group of voters in the center.
There are popular politicians that appeal to one group on the left or the right, for example Michelle Bachmann creates splash and attention, just look at her fan base on Facebook and across the country, but Amy Klobuchar is steady and full of substance which appeals to the moderates. By the way Bachmann has 10 times as many fans as Klobuchar on Facebook, so head over there and click “like.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar should win in 2012, and she should win decisively. That is why as we enter the normal announcement period, there are no major candidates rumored or ready to step forward. 2012 could be a tough year for Republicans in Minnesota. I think they will spend 2012 trying to defend their wins in the state legislature and begin the process of running against Dayton and Franken in 2014, rather than try to seriously challenge Sen. Klobuchar.
It wouldn’t surprise me if a serious candidate did step forward late though. I’m thinking somebody like a Cong. John Kline. He could use 2012 as a stepping stone to try and defeat Sen. Al Franken in 2014.