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Continued: Dayton's re-election isn't a lock, but he's formidable. Here's why.

  • Article by: D.J. TICE
  • Last update: February 16, 2014 - 10:11 AM

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.

 

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  • Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton doesn’t always look like this — like he enjoys the work — but his 2014 re-election efforts will benefit from both luck and hard work for his key constituencies.

  • Buttons mocking Gov. Mark Dayton were handed out to students at a town-hall meeting he held on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus in January. Dayton is one of five Democratic governors targeted by Republicans over their management of state-run health care exchange websites that have not enjoyed a smooth rollout.

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