GOP finally going for the jugular in key congressional race to pick up a Dem-held seat

Is it possible that the "stupid party" has wised up?  There is at least one good sign that the old-fashioned country club approach to politics, where being a good loser is more important than being a nasty winner, is history.  At least that's the case in one key congressional district that offers an opportunity for the Republicans to pick up a seat currently held by Democrats.

The specific race is Minnesota – the land of "Minnesota nice."  The 8th Congressional District, which includes Duluth and the Iron Range, is in an area that is a Rust Belt annex – an economically depressed exception to generally prosperous and tech-oriented Minnesota.  Like other parts of the Rust Belt, the 8th went heavily for Trump, 54% to 39% for Hillary, but narrowly re-elected a Democrat, Rick Nolan, in 2016, by a one-percent margin.  Nolan abandoned running for re-election in favor of running for lieutenant governor but was defeated in the primary, leaving the House seat an open contest with no incumbent.

The 8th was a Democrat lock for decades, with unions pushing the Democrats.  But the hollowing out of the steel industry hit it hard.  Now the area's vast copper and other mineral resources could be developed and provide thousands of jobs, except that Democrats think mining is icky and don't want to permit new mines.  I am not sure that "Minnesota nice" is as predominant a feature of life in Duluth, Hibbing, Eveleth, and the other hard hit areas of the area as in the more prosperous parts of the state.

Republicans nominated Pete Stauber, a Trumpian county commissioner who promises to "fight against the liberal elites" and got 90% of the votes in his primary, while the Democrats chose Joe Radinovich, a former member of the state House of Representatives, with a plurality of 44.1% of the primary votes.

President Trump already made one visit to the district for a rally in Duluth and may come back.  In the meantime, the Republicans did a little opposition research on Radinovich, and boy, are they exploiting it!  The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), backed by Speaker Ryan, has put together an ad that goes for the jugular.  Breitbart explains:

A brutal new ad will hit Democrat Joe Radinovich in Minnesota over his history with criminal convictions, license suspensions, and having been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, Breitbart News has learned.

The ad, from the House GOP leadership-backed Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), is perhaps one of the most brutal this cycle.  It literally shows an illegal aluminum foil drug-smoking device to illustrate how Radinovich was charged by police back on Feb. 4, 2005, with possession of drug paraphernalia.

But that's not all: The ad counts off Radinovich's 18 various criminal charges, dozens of traffic violations, multiple driver's license suspensions, and argues that this Democrat is not fit to serve in Congress due to his record.

The ad, titled "Fast Times" and provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release, is available to view here:

My bet is that Stauber will win.

Is it possible that the "stupid party" has wised up?  There is at least one good sign that the old-fashioned country club approach to politics, where being a good loser is more important than being a nasty winner, is history.  At least that's the case in one key congressional district that offers an opportunity for the Republicans to pick up a seat currently held by Democrats.

The specific race is Minnesota – the land of "Minnesota nice."  The 8th Congressional District, which includes Duluth and the Iron Range, is in an area that is a Rust Belt annex – an economically depressed exception to generally prosperous and tech-oriented Minnesota.  Like other parts of the Rust Belt, the 8th went heavily for Trump, 54% to 39% for Hillary, but narrowly re-elected a Democrat, Rick Nolan, in 2016, by a one-percent margin.  Nolan abandoned running for re-election in favor of running for lieutenant governor but was defeated in the primary, leaving the House seat an open contest with no incumbent.

The 8th was a Democrat lock for decades, with unions pushing the Democrats.  But the hollowing out of the steel industry hit it hard.  Now the area's vast copper and other mineral resources could be developed and provide thousands of jobs, except that Democrats think mining is icky and don't want to permit new mines.  I am not sure that "Minnesota nice" is as predominant a feature of life in Duluth, Hibbing, Eveleth, and the other hard hit areas of the area as in the more prosperous parts of the state.

Republicans nominated Pete Stauber, a Trumpian county commissioner who promises to "fight against the liberal elites" and got 90% of the votes in his primary, while the Democrats chose Joe Radinovich, a former member of the state House of Representatives, with a plurality of 44.1% of the primary votes.

President Trump already made one visit to the district for a rally in Duluth and may come back.  In the meantime, the Republicans did a little opposition research on Radinovich, and boy, are they exploiting it!  The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), backed by Speaker Ryan, has put together an ad that goes for the jugular.  Breitbart explains:

A brutal new ad will hit Democrat Joe Radinovich in Minnesota over his history with criminal convictions, license suspensions, and having been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, Breitbart News has learned.

The ad, from the House GOP leadership-backed Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), is perhaps one of the most brutal this cycle.  It literally shows an illegal aluminum foil drug-smoking device to illustrate how Radinovich was charged by police back on Feb. 4, 2005, with possession of drug paraphernalia.

But that's not all: The ad counts off Radinovich's 18 various criminal charges, dozens of traffic violations, multiple driver's license suspensions, and argues that this Democrat is not fit to serve in Congress due to his record.

The ad, titled "Fast Times" and provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release, is available to view here:

My bet is that Stauber will win.