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Friday, March 03, 2006 

Walz Gets the Big Mo'

Tim Walz, congressional candidate in the 1st, continues to garner a disproportionate amount of attention, both statewide and, more importantly, nationally. He's mentioned by an e-mail from John Kerry today; I was going to write this up but Backbone Minnesota beat me to it.

I think a lot of people have been noticing all the attention and coming to some mistaken conclusions. Walz is going to have to fight all across southern MN for name recognition against Rep. Gutknecht, and he's not yet very well known. We cheerlead for him here in the blogosphere, but it bears repeating: Tim Walz's name is not yet well known in the 1st. One might think that with all the national attention he gets, he's gotta be getting even more in his district, but he's not. The attention outside the 1st means absolutely nothing to his campaign, except insofar as it brings in the big dollars. This race, even more than most, is going to be won and lost in the dollar race, and I will say that Walz does look very good in this area, especially now that the Kerry e-mail has gone out. Even so, and despite the news that he's brought in a big gun, Tim Walz, great candidate and great guy that he is, faces an uphill battle in a slight-lean-red district against a veteran incumbent with a lot of money who hasn't seen a truly serious challenge in a very long time.

If Democrats are seriously going to take back the House this year (which I have my doubts about), I think they'll win this seat. This is the kind of seat that they'll need to win to do it, because there simply aren't enough really swing seats around anymore to do it otherwise. Tim Walz will either have to run an absolutely spectacular campaign or get some serious help in a 1994-style tidal wave. Either is possible, and the combination of both is possible, too.

Don't get it wrong; this blogger wants Walz to win and thinks he has a legitimate shot. We just shouldn't be overly optimistic, because it's going to be a very tough battle. Don't overestimate the value of the out-of-district media, however, because while we may love it, it by itself means nothing; its only real value is to help fund Tim's campaign.

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