But I was heartened by Emmer campaign manager, David Fitzsimmons who had this to say in an email:
We are very pleased with the results - they matched our expectations and show we clearly have the momentum heading into the next phase of the campaign. Here are some notes on the straw poll results that you can share with other Emmer supporters:Don't get me wrong--I won't shed any tears if Seifert eventually gets the nod. But it seems to me that Tom has the rare gift to be able to connect with voters on a gut level. Spend just five minutes with Mr. Emmer, and you feel that he's not some lofty politician, he's one of us, a guy who can connect with you on a personal level, not just in an ideological sense.
- Tom Emmer has the momentum, both in endorsements and now in the balloting. We closed the gap from 14 points to 10 points and we're the only campaign moving in a positive direction.
- Although we lost the non-binding straw poll, we did win in key delegate-rich areas. Remember, the next round is winner-take-all as we elect delegates to the state convention.
- In fact, Emmer won four of the eight Congressional Districts, but more importantly, he won the districts with the most delegate strength. If you add the delegate strength from districts won by Emmer (2, 3, 5, and 6) you get 1080 delegates. That is more than Seifert's total of 920 delegates from districts 1, 4, 7 and 8.
- Our strong second place finish has made this a two person race - no one else has a legitimate shot at endorsement from this point forward.
- Seifert's edge was in Greater Minnesota where name recognition is key, and his 3 years as a minority spokesman was a huge advantage. Tom's overwhelming success came in the metro area where it was possible to meet and speak with folks. We must now ensure that our outstate friends have an opportunity to get to know Tom on a personal level.
The numbers behind the numbers look really positive for the Emmer campaign, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to win this endorsement. Thanks you very much for the support you've shown so far and please keep it up as we head into the next phase of this election.
- In order to win the general election, the Republican candidate needs to connect with voters in the swing districts in the suburbs. The numbers don't lie - Tom is clearly stronger here and there is no reason to believe he won't also do well in traditional Republican strongholds like the 7th Congressional District.
Not that Marty Seifert is a slouch, but for the reasons outlined above, I think Tom Emmer is an even more electable candidate, and I believe he will be more effective in driving the grass roots GOP agenda to fruition.