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Guest Column: Robinson Tougher Than Weiland, Wismer, Campaign Staffers

I said Wednesday that Democrat Corinna Robinson failed to mount a credible campaign for U.S. House. I note that she failed to assemble a durable campaign team, raise enough money to be taken seriously, and provide useful synergy to other Democratic campaigns. Under a separate post, Robinson challenges my assessment, lays out her achievements and commitment, and declares herself a better candidate than Susan Wismer or Rick Weiland. I yield the floor to quote exactly and in full:

Greetings Cory ~ I'm typically too busy to read and write to blogs but I genuinely try to read yours when able. I owe you a phone call; however, I feel my thoughts should be shared with a wider audience.

Tom Daschle and Corinna Robinson
Tom Daschle with Corinna Robinson, from Robinson campaign Facebook page, posted November 3, 2014.

Weiland was not fighting the battle all by himself. When no one else entered the race to run against Noem, I did, and I executed a true "grass roots" campaign. I hope folks will somewhat appreciate that I resigned from a significant position in DC that paid my sons' college tuition to return home and give it "my all". In just barely a year, I maneuvered cross-country, purchased a home in Rapid City, and tried to maintain a solid team that was primarily focused on unseating Noem versus filling their personal coiffeurs or priming their resume. There were very few that could endure constant, cross-country travel and working seven days a week for more than a couple months.

I also personally hand carried the minimum wage petition and (from the very beginning) touted the importance of reducing our national deficit, health care reform, education, and opposed the Keystone Pipeline. I'm personally past the gripe about partisan politics and simply expect South Dakotans to "step up to the plate" and vote those not worthy out of office. I've served to defend countries (placing my life at risk) where governance does not exist, and corruption prevails, and to know we have folks at home who are "fed up" with voting is shameful.

Senator Tim Johnson and Corinna Robinson
Senator Tim Johnson and Corinna Robinson, from Robinson campaign Facebook page, posted November 3, 2014.

I never accepted a cent in salary during my campaign while Noem voted against re-opening the government and drew full pay. Her family has garnered 3+ million dollars in subsidies while I offered to give up 1/2 of my salary to S.D. non-profit organizations upon election.

I absolutely agree ~ I needed a stellar Campaign Manager, a seasoned financial director, and at least one solid TV ad. If I decide to run again in the very near term, I will be looking for resumes too!

The DCCC didn't cough up a cent, nor do I think the DSCC or Super-PACs would have helped Rick if there wasn't an ongoing scandal. The SDDC would have sorely struggled without million-dollar funding in the last month. I even transformed my campaign office in Rapid City to an all-candidate Dem office while there was a flurry of folks working in the Sioux Falls office. Lord knows we need better support in West River.

Let's not overlook that I was able to pull 1/3 of the votes against Noem with (again) barely a year on the ground and having visited over 200 towns or cities. I believe that was better stats than Rick and Susan whereas they both had better name recognition.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Corinna Robinson
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Corinna Robinson, from Robinson campaign Facebook page, posted November 3, 2014.

I'm in contact with key folks across our great state and sincerely hope to stay the course as they've graciously asked. Otherwise, I may choose to depart and gain a more secure, political foothold elsewhere. As almost my entire family resides in South Dakota, they know I love them dearly, and I will always look out for their best interest regardless of where I serve.

Ok ~ off my soapbox. More to follow [Corinna Robinson, comment, Madville Times, 2014.11.06].

For the record, Robinson won more votes than any South Dakota Democrat on Tuesday's ballot:

Candidate (office) Votes
Corinna Robinson (House) 92438
Denny Pierson (Treasurer) 85153
Angelia Schultz (Sec. State) 84132
Rick Weiland (Senate) 82408
David Allen (PUC) 74780
Susan Wismer (Governor) 70508

Robinson is signalling that she will stay and fight if we'll have her. Democrats, shall we?


  1. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.11.07

    To be honest, I think we missed our chance, but having said that. Ms Robinson, as I have told you elsewhere, you have my sincere thanks for your service to our country and for offering to serve it again and our State in particular in a new way. I gave a little bit financially, and only wish I could have given more. Until we can get money out of politics, what little a guy like me can offer is meaningless anyway. Thanks again. Lanny

  2. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.11.07

    Okay, I am out of here, at least for now. So I ask that in recognition of his herculean effort as regards the corruption in our State, will someone knowledgeable in media affairs, please submit Cory's name for the Pulitzer Prize, and for the rest of us, please if able hit the tip jar with a generous donation.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.11.07

    Had she talked about cannabis she would have inspired more millennials to come out and vote.

  4. Bill Fleming 2014.11.07

    Of course, Cory. We all voted for her, right? Now, can we convince Troy Jones and Lee Schoenbeck to vote for her?That, Corinna, is the question. :-)

  5. Bill Fleming 2014.11.07

    Later Lanny. Nice getting to know you.

  6. Moses 2014.11.07

    Heard Lee talking to Knobe yesterday on the radio, while listening to that the only thing drier I thought was dust.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.07

    Glad to have you, Lanny. Your thoughts are always welcome.

    And Schoenbeck dry? How can that be? He always seems pretty sharp here. Maybe he was just crestfallen disappointed that he doesn't get to vote to not seat Elliott.

    But back to the question: Is Robinson Democrats' heaviest hitter?

  8. Rorschach 2014.11.07

    In no sense of the word was she a better candidate than Rick Weiland. He ran a great campaign in a very difficult year for Democrats. His vote totals were dragged down by Pressler, but he was the superior candidate of the Democratic field this year. His performance and campaign strategy exceeded expectations by far.

    Most people didn't even know who Robinson was, let alone have any expectations for her. She deserves thanks for running and sticking with it long after the writing was on the wall. But the moral of the story is you can't be absent from South Dakota for decades and drop in from DC expecting people to give you a job and send you back to DC. Pressler and Robinson both found that out.

  9. Bill Fleming 2014.11.07

    I agree with Rorschach. Corinna needs more name ID.

  10. leslie 2014.11.07

    Robinson, weiland and wismer are all exceptional, I mean exceptional candidates. if we cant win with them, we cant win, and perhaps that is the case in SD for the time being. I offered to work for rick. no response.

    I wish I would have offered same to corrina, but rick came by penndems 1st. I was on Ritchie's team and helped robin.

    meeting wismer twice and seeing her speak at UTTC in rapid city, we could not have asked for better people. I was all for joe when we met but was surprised only some of us knew that east river was selecting susan over joe.

    all this badmouthing the dem establishment, such as there is, is like firing the bear's coach after losing the superbowl-sour grapes. but nobody gets paid anything to run the dem parties in SD. there is no money. the dem party is you and me. and I don't see you at the meetings.

    albeit, I have only gotten involved after retirement. I know how busy ordinary voters are. they are all low-info., and needn't be ashamed.

    we need to have bodies to do the work. its that's simple.

  11. leslie 2014.11.07

    if I had any criticism, what in the hell is going on with rick, tom and harry and millions of dollars. I thought his rick's manager would have better apparent strategy. I don't buy any of the so-called explanations that are out there. our top down direction has to be rock solid.

    on the otherhand, some in the know say rick never had a chance and resources were to precious to spread. however, look how the repubs pulled out all the stops and won Kansas and another close state's senate. race.

  12. Les 2014.11.07

    Corinna had only slightly more name ID than a David English. Those votes were a vote against Noem.

  13. Sam 2 2014.11.07

    I think Corinna did a excellent job for a person who had no help. I hope she runs again. Corinna's lack of name reconigtion shows show weak Noem is. I would vote Corinna again she was the best the Dem's had to offer,

    Noem was a weak contender, however the dem's elected to put all their resources into Rick W.

  14. Charlie Johnson 2014.11.07

    If Ms. Robinson decides to run again, she will be a candidate worthy of everyone's attention. Let's hope she does run again. I plan to vote for her.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.07

    Sam 2, why didn't she have help? Susan Wismer had help. Why didn't Robinson? Did Wismer and Weiland really grab the only talent and leave Robinson sifting through the dregs of lazy self-servers who couldn't keep up with Corinna?

  16. Mike Henriksen 2014.11.07

    I would love to see her run again! I think she did the best with what she had. She built a base and can grow that the next few years. I would be happy to work to get her elected.

  17. Bob Klein 2014.11.07

    I think her life experiences are exceptional. I suggest she spend some time going to campaign school with people like Steve Hildebrand.

  18. leslie 2014.11.07

    people like corrina and boz' lawyer and others in the know in the dem party might give more access if they were not wary of being flayed on the blog. i dont know but these can be sensitive matters.

  19. scott 2014.11.07

    It's nice to see her facebook photose, but unless you "liked" her on Facebook, you'd never see it. Campaigning on Facebook and Twitter may be free, but it doesn't generate many votes.

  20. Connie Mogen 2014.11.07

    I met her and did as much as I could to get her name out there. I talked to people who didn't know until a few days before the election that anyone was running against Noem. I know the people I informed voted for Corrina. She just needed more help to get her name out there. If she chooses to run again I will whole heartedly support her again! She's SD born but lived away because she spent 25 years in the military. I told people about her service and time at the Pentagon and no one gave any indication that it was a problem.Rather, I think it was an asset.
    In another thread I discussed what we need to do to rebuild our party and support our candidates. My comments were in part based on experiences campaigning for Corrina.

  21. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.07

    I want to thank you, Ms. Robinson, for doing the best you could. I thoroughly appreciate your efforts.

    I know very little about how to campaign. I'd love to see the national Democratic Party offer campaign schools, whether they're led by a SDan like Herseth, or anybody from anywhere else. There is much more I'd like to see the national Dems do for SD. As others have said, the Howard Dean 50 State Plan needs to be resurrected and become permanent.

  22. Alan 2014.11.07

    I hope you folks don't mind but I would like to shed some light on the situation. Corinna did not run a solid campaign because she refused to take advice from anyone, had a solipsistic vision of the world, lacked clear policy objectives, micromanaged people trying to help her out, had no contemporary connection with SD, spent way too much time focusing on her military background, only heavily campaigned in VFW posts around the state, and when she showed her true self she lost help and voters. This election was no victory for her, her seat was dichotomous while the others were not. In no way is she a politician or a South Dakotan. It disgusts me that she wants to start a political career in another state or try again here; may God have mercy on all of us. If anything I hope this election was sobering for her and that she learned something about humanity along the way.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Mike, a base? Robinson got 33.47% of the vote in a two-way race. She got 92,485 votes.

    In the 2010 midterm election, in a race with Noem and an Indy, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin got 146,589 votes. Turnout was 8% lower in 2014, but Robinson got 37% fewer voters to mark her name than did SHS. 54,104 who marked the Dem brand under SHS did not mark the Dem in this election.

    Comparing to 2012 is trickier, because the Presidential election draws more voters. But while the total House vote in 2014 was 24% lower than the House vote in 2012, Robinson's vote total was 40% lower than Matt Varilek's against Noem.

    By purely quantitative measures, Robinson built no base. She shed tens of thousands of voters. Whoever runs for House in 2016 will have to work hard to bring those voters back.

  24. Mike Henriksen 2014.11.08

    I understand the math. My point is 2 years ago maybe 200 people knew who she was. She got experience and exposure. But she certainly has a long way to go and will need to change her approach to build off of this year.

  25. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.11.08

    Cory, While talking about the undervote, I found some very interesting statistics in Minnehaha. Votes for US Senate 64,500 US House 55,000 Governor 54,000 County auditor 47,700 and County Commission 108,300 but we were voting for three so an average of 36,100.

    If all government is local, doesn't this undervote for the most local of our government say a lot about who we are as a people? A bunch of frontrunners???

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Ah, I see, Mike. By the same argument, one could say that Kurt Evans and the other Libertarians "built a base." But how many of the people who checked those Libertarian names were really checking the Libertarian names, or even remember the names they marked as they looked for the "Not Republican" or "None of the Above" option? Ditto the question for Robinson: how substantial is that base? Is the base really hers, or is it just "Other's"?

  27. Mike Henriksen 2014.11.08

    Hahaha! I know better than to get in a debate with a debate coach! But Kurt did build a base. A very SMALL base that will take many more years to grow than what Robinson already has! And even if a person just voted "not Republican" they now have some idea of who she is, which they could not say even a year ago. Maybe next time they look into what she stands for a little more.

    Or maybe I am just trying to find some light from a VERY dark night Tuesday!

  28. Catherine Ratliff 2014.11.08

    Corinna was and will be an exceptional candidate, a winner with credentials but no money. SD Dems have long lacked the communitarian sensitivity to grasp that we (Dems and those who benefit from Democratic policies) are all in this together, we have a responsibility to support a campaign with our money, and when everyone does their bit, we can win.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Lanny, that's a really good point about the undervote for local office. In another thread, Bajun Mavalwalla has suggested that focusing on local races is a key part of rebuilding the Democratic Party. Does the undervote you see suggest that such a strategy is a bad idea, since people don't pay as much attention to those positions and that taking those positions wouldn't do much to increase those candidates' electoral power? Or is it the reverse: does the lower turnout make it easier for us Democrats to take over those seats with targeted campaign resources, then build experience and name recognition for those candidates as they work for their constituents face to face close to home?

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Mike, far be it from me to snuff out anyone's light after Tuesday. Robinson's "base" is clearly better than if we had left Noem unchallenged (and the SDDP almost did, since no one else was lining up in the chute).

    But I'm still curious what our metrics are for determining that a candidate "built a base," or, looking at Catherine's comment, what makes a candidate "exceptional." What numbers show us that Robinson was "exceptional"?

    Thinking further about Catherine's comment, is the problem underperforming candidates, or is the problem more with Democrats in general, everyone of us around the state, not adopting the "all in it together" spirit and putting forward the time, money, and voice necessary to help even the best candidate (Rick Weiland) win? Do we need a come-to-Jesus moment where we ask not just "What's wrong with Corinna?" but "What's wrong with us?"

  31. Mike Henriksen 2014.11.08

    There is NO QUESTION that the party is barely functioning in SD. I had watched it for years. But this year I decided to actually get involved. I attended the convention. I made financial and in kind donations. But I am torn right now. Do I back off again because it is getting worse? Or do I get even more involved in an effort to get it back to where it was? Too soon to tell. But I am not moving out of state (to my knowledge) so I am leaning towards the latter. But not for a few weeks. By the time they gather in Pierre I will be ready to be fired up about politics again.

  32. Lynn 2014.11.08

    I do believe that a good share of Corinna Robinson's votes were anti-Noem votes. After the Government shutdown I felt that Noem was not only vulnerable given her performance in Washington but it was the Democrats race to lose if they could field a good candidate and campaign.

    Shortly after Corinna's announcing her run for office I immediately contacted her campaign and offered to help with phone calls or whatever grunt work needed to help bring in funds and support being highly motivated to unseat Noem after the shutdown. There was never any follow up.

    After the toxic volunteer Kathy Scott drama which was a negative I contacted Corinna's campaign once again offering to volunteer. An Adam Schantz was supposed to be contacting me but again there was no follow up.

    I did hear that what Alan had mentioned that Corinna was running her campaign as she felt was best and was not as open to advice as she could of been from those who had more experience in running political campaigns.

    Realizing that her campaign was severely underfunded I felt she missed numerous opportunities for free exposure such as for example contacting the Argus Leader when she was in town for an interview or to show up to her events and let voters know who she was and what she stood for.

    The debate performances were not very good and she did not distinguish herself enough from Kristi Noem nor go on the attack. Passing up rebuttals at the SDPB debate was terrible and I was almost just waiting for an endorsement of Kristi Noem. The SDPB debate I watched for the 1st part of it and had to turn it off. It was just too frustrating.

    Her last debate performance offered a glimpse what should of been for performance much earlier in her campaign.

  33. JeniW 2014.11.08

    Could part of it be the shortage of engagement?

    Once upon a time, volunteers helped with mass mailings, data entry, and other projects.

    Mass mailings are now done by businesses that do those, "mailings" are done via e-mail, data is collected from other databases, phone calls are recorded, or are robo calls. That pretty much wipes out the need for volunteers. Remove the projects that volunteers can work on, that limits the engagement. Lose the engagement...

  34. Lynn 2014.11.08

    I don't know if anyone else experienced or observed this but back in the 80's I lived in a Southern city where there was an Air Force base which has been closed since but this city had a number of military retirees living there. It was my first experience with a high number of retired officers that had spent their career in the military. A few including a former co-worker of mine had the reputation of being very set in their ways, inflexible and regimented from the structure offered by the military culture. Could this have been a liability in Corinna's campaign? I don't know but it is something to be aware of when looking at one's strengths and weaknesses.

    I have had a great experience serving in our military and will always speak highly of it have a great deal of respect and appreciation for those who have served.

    It would be hard moving from Washington back to SD and with the probable chaos of moving try and get a campaign going which needed far more time to get it established and build name recognition.

    She definitely has the substance and I hope she can learn from this grueling campaign experience and build from it.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Mike, I agree that the party is not functioning the way it should be. It is not winning elections... and really, that's the only metric we need to determine the success or failure of a party or a candidate, right?

    But we need to know why the party and each candidate (and again, per Catherine's comment, perhaps all of us?) failed so we can figure out who and how to run in 2016. That's why I'm riding your comment kinda hard. If someone tells me, "Candidate X has a base," I want to know exactly what "base" means and whether that's a "base" that can really help us next time around.

    Back off or get more involved? Well, Mike, I think you know what my answer is. We are all free to choose how to use our money and time. You should not waste your resources on things that don't produce the results you want. (Imperfect analogy warning!) You are under no obligation to go buy another Vikings jersey if the Vikings aren't being good role models.

    I will not try to coach Democrats back to victory by guilt trip. But nothing will change in South Dakota without more involvement from Democratic donors, workers, voters, and candidates. If you want change in South Dakota, backing off is not an option.

    Our major mission is to figure out what strategies, what policies, and what candidates are worth more involvement.

  36. Tim 2014.11.08

    Another run for Weiland and Robinson and Cory for the Governors mansion. Build our argument to the public and pound the republican ruling party for the next two years on every one of their screwups, assuming based on past performance, there will be plenty of them.

  37. larry kurtz 2014.11.08

    So, what does the party have to lose by running as Democrats? Robinson didn't talk about issues dear to our base like legal cannabis and the environment: South Dakota is polluted more now than when i was a kid.

  38. Les 2014.11.08

    """" But nothing will change in South Dakota without more involvement from Democratic donors, workers, voters, and candidates. If you want change in South Dakota, backing off is not an option.""""" Good morning, Cory. I must disagree that change can only come from money and votes. I believe an honest media and an involved electorate in the legislative process along with the ballot initiatives can give all voters the powers intended.
    This means all good folks involved must find some common ground from which they can work. Honesty in office holders must trump the discord I so regularly see at Madville for this to happen.

  39. Les 2014.11.08

    Yur still a kid, Lar. Cory for gov? Who's gonna herd the sheep, Tim?

  40. Les 2014.11.08

    Pride, Lar. Can you imagine guys like BF or RC wearing an R? They'd self ignite.

  41. Tim 2014.11.08

    Les, herding sheep is a lot easier than herding cats, which it seems is what we are doing now. ;-)

  42. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.08

    An R after my name Les, hush your mouth.

  43. Taunia 2014.11.08

    About 6 more elections cycles and she'll be ready for prime time.

    " I'm typically too busy.."// Ugh...

    "I hope folks will somewhat appreciate that I resigned from a significant position in DC that paid my sons' college tuition to return home and give it "my all"."// Wow. Not identifying with voters. "I hope you all realize how important I am! I want recognition for my sacrifices, Vote for Me!"

    "I maneuvered cross-country, purchased a home in Rapid City.." // Carpetbagging is not a candidate selling point.

    "I'm in contact with key folks ..." // Not voters, obviously

    Throwing Weiland under the bus, the best candidate and campaign this cycle, does not win brownie points but screams sore loser.

    I understand this is a defensive, post-election response on her part, but now I do not understand how she got as many votes as she did with this attitude.

    You may have saved yourself some embarrassment down the road, South Dak.

  44. Taunia 2014.11.08

    I have a lot more to say about how much her response sucks, but the biggest thing is, even in her parting shots, she still didn't give anyone a reason to vote FOR her.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Tim, Governor isn't up until 2018. ;-)

  46. Shirley Moore 2014.11.08

    I guess it's time for me to weigh in. I carried some of Corinna's nominating petitions (got 220 signers). That means I have skin in the game. Since most of you haven't worked with her as much as I have, here's my lowdown. Corinna has lots of energy. She talks off the top of her very intelligent head. Yes, I'm sure she's said things that irritated you. She's still smarter in her left big toe than Kristi Noem will ever be and those of you who voted elsewise chose the path away from Democracy toward perdition. This was Corinna's first run at an elected office. Know this: Corinna is a passionate person. She digs in to win. She pulled in a lot of votes considering that she was a first time candidate. It appears that she reached some accord with a LOT of voters. You detractors out there -- if you can do better, put your money where you mouths are and run against Kristi. Your job. My challenge.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Les, "honest media and an involved electorate in the legislative process along with the ballot initiatives" won't just happen. I don't like to talk about money, but money is the ammo Democrats need to do the research, hold public events, send out information, grab the media's attention, and get votes.

    Even blogging—I can do a lot for love, but right now, every day that folks ring the tip jar is another hour or two (or more! thank you, dear generous donors!) that I don't have to go substitute teach and can instead focus my energies on reading, commenting, engaging voters, and calling the Republican spin machine on its lies.

    The SDDP needs more donors giving more money, Les. It needs workers (paid and volunteer) to spread the word. It needs voters who will do the right thing. And it needs candidates to fire everyone up and make the case. None of that happens if folks sit back. Widespread sitting back may well be part of why we got such awful numbers on Tuesday.

  48. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    With good people like Taunia and Shirley offering opposite assessments of candidate Robinson, I still don't think I'm any closer to figuring out where she fits in the Democratic battle plan for 2016. Let's look at it this way: if Robinson runs for House again in 2016, should I primary her?

  49. Shirley Moore 2014.11.08

    Jeni W. Here's a heads up for you. I VOLUNTEERED about 20 hours a week for 10 weeks in Rick Weiland's campaign office. I did phone calling, addressing envelopes and postcards, writing messages on post cards and whatever else the campaign needed. If there had been 2 of me (heaven forbid!) there would have been work to do. In fact, the week before the election besides Thursday morning when I had cataract surgery, I spend 4 hours each day in the campaign office. On Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday(election day) I spent 11 hours each day calling -- not robo calling. I reject the implication that everything is done by an outside company.

  50. Les 2014.11.08

    Shirley, you are the type of person both parties need.

    When Kristi Noem voted against a Colorado Democrats good amendment to the National Defense that would protect US citizens rights, and then turned around and voted for the Pelosi amendment, I vowed to not support or vote for her again. Corinna got some Red Noem votes.
    I wouldn't brag too much about getting votes from Noem.
    Your party did need a place holder and that is what you had with Corinna, though I'm sure the effort was substantial for all and I appreciate competition for all races.
    Tania, mark it on the wall. We agree.

  51. Taunia 2014.11.08

    Cory primarying Robinson? If she's polling this blog for her next political move based on Cory wins.

    "Otherwise, I may choose to depart and gain a more secure, political foothold elsewhere."

    Serious candidates with insight and a future with the voters she's writing to do not subliminally threaten voters.

  52. Lynn 2014.11.08

    Sadly it was a missed opportunity.

  53. Jenny 2014.11.08

    Wow Taunia, I don't see your view of Corinna's letter that way at all. I see an independent, intelligent, professional woman that probably wanted to run things the way she was used to. Is she controlling? I don't know, but for gosh sakes, the SDDP needs people willing to run against popular incumbents!

  54. Jenny 2014.11.08

    And Cory, you know the answer to all this is Sioux Falls. Cory, Corrina, Angelia Schultz and any other important name that is serious about Dems winning again need to move to Sioux Falls and organize, organize, organize. Small town SD dems know this and we aren't forgetting you, but Sioux Falls is where this push needs to start.

  55. Jenny 2014.11.08

    Sioux Falls is growing by the day and here's another couple words that Dems have the ball on - immigrants and minorities. Go out and get the minority vote. Organize and educate. It's really that simple. Show them we are truly the party that cares.

  56. Jenny 2014.11.08

    I've lived in that medical town in SE MN since 2001. When I first moved here, the DFL had not had a state senator or house representative since 1972! In 2004 and every election since, the DFL is strongly represented! How did we do it - well, we learned from our beloved Paul Wellstone. All politics is local andl starts at the grass roots level. Changing voter dynamics helped also - new American citizens (Somalians mainly) which tend to vote Democrat. We are truly the party that welcomes everyone with open arms - LGBT, minorities, women. The DFL is strong now and what a change from 10 years ago. I can vision Sioux Falls that way.

  57. tara volesky 2014.11.08

    To bad SD can't be more like MN. Weiland could have been our Wellstone.

  58. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    He still could be. Stay tuned.

  59. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.08

    Jenny, I'm going to have a hard time seeing Sioux Falls as Democrat Central when only three of the 27 legislators from the SF metro area are Democrats.

    Still, I suppose a serous statewide Democratic candidate could campaign most efficiently and effectively by spending three days a week knocking on doors in Sioux Falls and then dividing the rest of the time across the state.

  60. Robin Page 2014.11.09

    Not too long after I graduated with my degree in Political Science, a public school administrator asked me: "Why the heck did you get a degree in Political Science?' I quickly explained to him that: "If you don't know how to play the "game", how can you ever expect to win!" Sorry Democratic friends, we are NOT playing this game by the same rules and strategies as the Republicans. The Republicans are highly organized in every precinct in this state. They have many PAC's and coffers filled with money to help their candidates. They have gerrymandered districts without any legal challenges. They have spent millions of dollars telling lies on television and radio, without their campaigns or PACs , or the media corporations, ever being held accountable. Every single candidate that ran in South Dakota ran the best campaign they could with extremely limited financial resources. Democrats didn't come out to vote, because they are tired of not being asked to the table to be involved. No one asks them for their help and no one tries to reach out to our young people and bring them into the fold. When the Democratic leadership in this state decides to really make strong efforts to get organized and raise campaign funding for their candidates, as well as the state office and special interest campaigns, maybe then we will be able to slowly dismantle the Republican battle ship. We must start now to identify good candidates, aggressively do fund raising and organize our party from the local precincts to the state level. We need new leadership and new ideas! We are out of touch with the people we say we represent. We should have a statewide Democratic organizing convention ASAP and continue over the next two years to keep people involved. I commend the efforts of every candidate who ran for office and I hope that they will get our support if they decide to run again. Let's begin today to make these changes and stop complaining about the candidates.

  61. Tim 2014.11.09

    Robin hits it right on the head. I also want to thank Robin for her efforts this election and hope she continues, we need a lot more just like her.

  62. Bill Fleming 2014.11.09

    Robin is an excellent party leader. I heard a lot of Republicans discussing her resume and telling each other why she deserved their vote. That's what it is going to take. Go Robin! I'll campaign for you anytime.

  63. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.09

    Two questions, Robin:

    (1) Don't candidates also need to distinguish themselves as leaders?

    (2) Will you be leading a delegation to the next SDDP meeting to call for such a reorganization convention, or at least to cast votes in determining the party's next leadership?

  64. Taunia 2014.11.09

    Anyone else see MILES of difference between Candidate Corinna Robinson's response and Candidate Robin Page's response?

    Robin = us.
    Corinna = herself, "me".

    Run again, Robin. You've "got it".

  65. Jenny 2014.11.09

    Well, any candidate that runs a campaign and an 'odds are strongly against them' one, needs to definitely have loads of healthy self-esteem. If she was truly that selfish, Taunia, do you really think she would have quit her six figure job to return to a strong red state to run against a popular So Dak Princess?

  66. Jenny 2014.11.09

    Another double standard when it comes to men and women. Selfish for Robinson to come back to SD and get into politics, but ambitious (not selfishness) for a man to do that.
    No wonder SD Dems are losing.

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