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Monday, November 13, 2006 

Why Hatch Lost

Today's Pioneer Press has a good analysis of the Hutchinson factor in Hatch's loss.

Independents (small i) were so much more likely to vote DFL/Democrat than Republican this year that almost any independent/Independence/other third party candidate was likely to skim off many more votes from us than from the GOP. That's troubling but hard to avoid, especially with the liberal Green Party so much stronger than any comparable conservative third party. What's really upsetting, however, is that Hatch lost so many votes to Hutchinson in what are traditionally strongly DFL areas, such as certain core areas of St. Paul.

What's clear now is that Hatch badly underperformed other DFL candidates. Part of that, especially in the areas that the article references, is that Hutchinson's success had a direct inverse correlation with Hatch's. Unfortunately, the Hatch/Dutcher campaign's gaffes down the stretch may have also played a big role. The rest of the statewide DFL ticket ran extremely disciplined and organized campaigns that made few mistakes and very little negative press; Hatch, on the other hand, not only had some baggage coming into the race but created his own on more than one occasion. Between Hutchinson, the E85/"Republican whore" fiasco and a dissatisfaction with Hatch from the beginning for some of the party's activists, Hatch just could not close out the campaign.

I'm going to do some more research on this and write up a post on the question later.

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It seems as if the Pioneer Press article is that of a C student. Hutchinson recived only 3% more then the worst IP statewide candidate. If you compare the results of all statewide races it is very clear that Peter Hutchinson was a rather insignificant factor in Mike Hatch's loss.

Where a person lives is a good predictor if you have a random sample, but the results the Pioneer Press uses are anything but a random sample, it is instead a self selected sample.

One of the key things that to happen for anyone to vote Hutchinson, they had to activly reject Mike Hatch. I know if I couldn't vote Hutchinson I would have voted for Pawlenty and I live in a fairly liberal area.

Mike, I'm sorry, but with a race this close, Hutchinson was a spoiler in this race, no matter how low of a percentage he got. Now, with his and Dutcher's many gaffes and poor debate skills (Hatch's ads were pretty great, though, I have to say), Hatch may still have lost in a two-way race.

My take? Some people believed the polls, thought Hatch would win, so they could "save face" by voting for Hutchinson. Had the polls shown Pawlenty winning by 1-2 points or a tied race, many of those Hutchinson voters would have voted for Hatch.

-Pat Smith

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