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But despite all this careful positioning, Dayton is not in an entirely safe place with a closely divided, volatile electorate — not if Minnesota Republicans can steady themselves and nominate an appealing, unfrightening candidate.
The badly mismanaged rollout of MNsure — Minnesota’s Obamacare health insurance marketplace — could be a key opening. The antidote to a witches’ brew of satisfied constituencies might be to give the contest an overarching and nationalizing theme.
If Dayton could be linked to all that frustrates and worries voters about Obamacare — and if those frustrations and worries last — the rest might be done by the headwinds of a midterm campaign likely to prove difficult for Democrats nationwide.
But don’t bet heavily against Dayton. It will take a superior campaign to topple him.
D.J. Tice is at Doug.Tice@startribune.com.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.