Curt Brown reports:
Minnesota Republicans have started showing up at the Sheraton hotel in Bloomington for what they hope will be a celebratory night nationally and at the state level.
"I just got a report from Delano that they are at 75 percent turnout and it's only 7 o'clock," said Tony Sutton, the state Republican chairman. "We are getting reports of high turnouts in the suburbs and outstate -- traditional Republican strongholds. So that's fueling my optimism."
A massive ballroom was plastered with placards for gubernatorial contender Tom Emmer, Rep. John Kline and others candidates. Sutton said he thinks Republicans who had been backing Independence Party hopeful Tom Horner are coming back to their party.
"But Democrats are sticking with Horner because they can't bring themselves themselves vote for Mark Dayton," Sutton said.
Doug Malsom, a 43-year-old Internet engineer from Lino Lakes, was among the Republicans watching results on the big screen TV in the hotel ballroom. He was decked out in a Tom Emmer hockey jersey.
“I had a dream Emmer won by 6, but that might be pushing it,” Malsom said. “Nationally, it’s going crazy for the Republicans and we could pick up 90 seats.”
He said he wore his Emmer hockey jersey to work on Tuesday and five union members who planned to vote for Tom Horner said they switched to vote for Emmer.
Emmer trailing in the polls doesn’t concern Jeff Abraham, 46, of Coon Rapids. The laid-off Chrysler auto repair worker, who has been out of work since July, said he was prompted by a Facebook.com invitation and came out to the Republican bash.
“I don’t think the polls are listening to the people,” he said, sporting a big Emmer button. “People want jobs and they want the strings of government loosened on the private sector. They don’t want government jobs, they want good private sector jobs.”