Independence Party chairman Jim Moore calls governor’s race undiagnosed and at play

Independence Party Chairman Jim Moore views the governor’s race as undiagnosed and at play.

He also argues that if voters want political greatness, they have to be willing to take risks.

Moore oversees a party whose gubernatorial and congressional candidates in recent polls have been registering in the single-digits.

by T.W. Budig
ECM capitol reporter

Independence Party Chairman Jim Moore views the governor’s race as undiagnosed and at play.

He also argues that if voters want political greatness, they have to be willing to take risks.

Moore oversees a party whose gubernatorial and congressional candidates in recent polls have been registering in the single-digits.

But he counters that the people who are likely to vote for a third-party candidates — young people, the disaffected returning to the political process — are not necessarily those being polled.

For instance, many young people use cell phones, not land lines.

“I’m not arguing that all this would put Peter at 38 percent,” said Moore, referring to Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Hutchinson.

But the polls can be misleading, he opined Still, Moore argues the Independence Party must move forward — he believes it has. But they must also win elections. “I don’t take solace in moral victories,” said Hutchinson.

Besides pointing to the imbalance in campaign spending, Moore gingerly criticized the media in their coverage of Independence Party candidates.

It’s fair to report on the difficulties Independence Party candidates face in running for office, he argued.

Moore says Hutchinson still in the running

But there’s a tendency to cut the candidates off at the knees — citing the unlikeliness of them getting elected, he explained. Moore argues that Hutchinson is still in the running.

Many Minnesotans have not yet made up their minds on who they plan to vote for governor, he explained.

That’s because the televised gubernatorial debates are happening now, he explained.

Voters need to get over their reluctance to voter for third parties candidates — get over “the wasted vote syndrome,” Moore opined.

“You can’t achieve political greatness without taking a calculated risk,” said Moore of voting for third party candidates.

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey sees the Independence Party as a candidate-driven party — a party tailor made for a Jesse Ventura.

But without the Big Personality, “the ability to garner votes is diminished,” he opined, citing former congressman Tim Penny’s 17 percent point run in 2002.

Carey believes that Hutchinson could garner eight, nine points on election day.

Those votes could be from disaffected Democrats, Democrats uncomfortable voting for Attorney General Mike Hatch but unwilling to vote for Republican Tim Pawlenty, Carey explained.

Carey did not view the Independence Party as serving to alter or mold the Republican Party of Minnesota.

DFL chair says Independence Party has little impact

DFL State Party Chairman Brian Melendez sees the Independence Party having zero impact on all other races than the gubernatorial.

Melendez sees Hutchinson as the classic “spoiler,” the candidate who can’t win themselves but who can affect a close race for others.

Melendez suggested most voters who might vote for Hutchinson would have Hatch as their second choice.

What Hatch has to do is convince these voters that voting for Hutchinson is throwing away their vote, said Melendez. He doesn’t mean this in a prejudicial way, insisted Melendez.

If Minnesota had instant runoff elections, the argument might now hold up, he explained.

It’s likely the Independence Party will maintain its major party status by Hutchinson winning five percent of the vote, said Melendez. But he doesn’t see the party as expanding. “They’re on a downhill slide,” he said.

Even so, the party could be around for another couple of election cycles, said Melendez.

While saying the Independence Party and Green Party tend to influence the other, Melendez doesn’t view the Independence Party as influencing the DFL Party.

Moore indicated that when his term as chairman ends in 2007 he prefers someone else taking over leadership of the Independence Party.

Moore is a resident of Minneapolis.

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