It’s looking like Gil Gutknecht wasn’t as in danger as the polls had him – he currently leads Tim Walz by a healthy margin of 53-47. That could change, but it’s been holding fairly steady. I’m still thinking that Gutknecht will win, and it won’t be as close as the polls were indicating.
Bachmann has a healthy 5-point lead, and it seems like Wetterling is going down. That’s a bright spot in a dark evening.
What truly irks me is that Pawlenty is down, and not by a small margin. I refuse to believe that the people of Minnesota would elect the likes of Mike Hatch. It’s early in the evening, and the outstate votes remain to be counted, but that just is not sitting well with me. Hatch is not only a mean-spirited, thin-skinned hothead, but he’s ethically challenged as well. As a future attorney, he’s one of the stereotypical 99% that gives the other 1% of us a bad name. I don’t think that Hatch will win, I can’t believe that Hatch will win, but if he does, I will be quite irate.
UPDATE – 9:45PM: Gutknecht/Walz is down to a 2% spread — so it’s possible that Walz is still in play. I’m skeptical, and the information I’ve gotten indicates it won’t be that close, but everything is still very much up in the air.
UPDATE – 9:50PM: At least the movement with Hatch/Pawlenty is moving the right way. I really hope Hatch doesn’t win, I have to live in this state for at least the next three years…
UPDATE – 10:00PM: Pawlenty keeps closing, but I’m still worried. Surprisingly, all the other GOP statewide offices are getting hammered. Even the Star Tribune endorsed Patricia Andersen, and she’s losing by a wide margin. I’m not sure what the story is there — I suspect that a lot of GOP voters only voted for Pawlenty or alternately Hatch isn’t doing well with Democratic voters in a period of high Democratic turnout. It’s also possible that the metro areas (which get counted first) are distorting the vote. I’ve known Mary Kiffmeyer informally for a while, and she always struck me as a dedicated public servant — I would hope that she and Andersen would be able to keep their jobs. Short of abject partisanship, I see no reason why they shouldn’t have been reelected.
UPDATE: 10:20PM Central: Pawlenty is closing the gap, although Hatch is still ahead. However, Gutknecht is falling behind Walz. I’d still be somewhat surprised if Walz won, but it’s looking like this could be a night of many surprises.