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Tuesday, April 04, 2006 


I think you've gotta feel bad for Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. The guy was running against Martin Sabo in a race that he can't have honestly expected to win. All of a sudden, Sabo's out and it looks like Nelson-Pallmeyer could have an actual chance to become Congressman Nelson-Pallmeyer. Then, twelve others start falling all over themselves and each other to get into the race, and Nelson-Pallmeyer's chances look like they're gone.

Or are they?

It still isn't clear who will take home the CD5 nomination. Mike Erlandson probably has the best shot, but Keith Ellison and Gail Dorfman also have reasonable chances. The other candidates (however many there still are) probably have nearly no chance of winning, though that doesn't mean they won't have any influence on who the winner is. As such, the news/rumor that Nelson-Pallmeyer has anywhere even in the neighborhood of a fifth of the CD5 delegates is more or less shocking. He's inexperienced, he has little name recognition, he hidn't have a lot of money, and he's undoubtedly to the left of most of the people in the 5th, none of which you would expect to help him get delegates.

Unfortunately for him, even if he really does have a full fifth of the delegates at the convention, Nelson-Pallmeyer will almost certainly not be the winner at the end of the day, for the reasons listed above. However, the possibilities of his being "kingmaker", as mentioned in the link, are intriguing. If Erlandson (or another candidate) has 60% of the delegates, it's over and Nelson-Pallmeyer's delegates are meaningless. If, however, there is no immediate winner, a scenario which looks very likely, he can start negotiating his delegates' votes. With that possibility, we should consider two things: what he wants and who he likes. I can't imagine what Nelson-Pallmeyer would want to trade for his delegates, so I leave that up to your imagination. Who he likes is a slightly different story; I don't have any evidence for this, but I see Nelson-Pallmeyer preferring most of the other candidates over Erlandson, if for no other reason than the fact that Erlandson worked for Sabo. Thus, if Nelson-Pallmeyer has a chance to throw his support to the top candidate whose last name isn't Erlandson, it's entirely possible that he will do so.

This is all pure speculation, of course, but it plots out what I see as a likely course of events should Nelson-Pallmeyer really have 20% of the delegates and the field doesn't change dramatically. NSP will continue to keep an eye on this race, in its own way one of the most important in Minnesota.

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