Let us return to the fever that afflicted the DFL during the candidate filing period a few weeks ago, after which a DFL operative texted me: "Feels like the day after a good bender."
It's worth reviewing where we are: The DFL-endorsed candidate for governor, Rep. Erin Murphy, had $86,000 cash on hand as of the last filing period, or nearly enough to buy a Mercedes S-class.
But Murphy is still well-positioned to win in August, because primary turnout could be heavy in Minneapolis. The local congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison, is running for attorney general, while political celebrity/first-term state lawmaker Rep. Ilhan Omar is running for his seat.
In Ellison and Omar, the GOP sees potentially polarizing figures that could help drive their own turnout in the fall. Omar said at last Sunday's DFL Fifth District special convention that we should abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Ellison recently wore a T-shirt that read "Yo no creo en fronteras" (I don't believe in borders).
Tim Pawlenty, meanwhile, is sitting on at least $1.3 million. (He paid $96,000 to Tony Fabrizio's firm — one of the best in the business — for polling. His messaging is tuned.) And Charlie Weaver, Doug Loon and other state business leaders are patiently waiting, ready to unleash independent campaigns on Pawlenty's behalf.
In the Eighth District, which President Donald Trump won by a big margin, Republicans are pumped about their candidate Pete Stauber, who got a big boost from Trump's visit last week, while the DFL candidates slug it out until August.
So yes — DFLers I talk to are worried.
Trump in Duluth: Back to the Trump visit: Jeff Johnson, the GOP-endorsed candidate for governor, got snubbed as Trump gave a shout-out to Pawlenty's running mate, Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach. That's even though Pawlenty publicly withdrew his support from Trump after the Access Hollywood tape in 2016. Trump also was photographed with a "Make Mining Great Again" hat displaying Pawlenty's web address.
Pawlenty welcomed Trump to Minnesota in a tweet: "@michellefischb will be there to greet you when you arrive in our great state. Thank you for coming to help @PeteStauber get elected to Congress! We appreciate your service & bold leadership."