Seifert, Ortman win GOP straw polls

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At the caucuses last night.

Former state Rep. Marty Seifert came out on top of a GOP straw poll for governor, while state Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, was the favorite among Republican caucus attendees to challenge Sen. Al Franken this fall. (MPR)

Seifert got about 29% of the vote, and State Sen. Dave Thompson got 25%. Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson was third. It doesn’t say by how much. Both Thompson and Johnson indicated that they would abide by the party endorsement at their convention. We’ll see about that.

I see Seifert as the only current candidate who could give Governor Dayton a really serious challenge, and then only if the economy falters. Which could happen. For Seifert to get the endorsement, though, he’d have to pull a lot of Tea Partiers and Paulbots, and/or people new to the process. That would indicate something of a shift in the MN GOP activist base from 2010 and 2012. Of course, if the earliest straw poll in any contest was definitive, we’d have President Bachmann, now.

Meanwhile, Ortman beat out businessman Mike McFadden in a straw poll to determine the GOP candidate for Senate.

McFadden has so far outraised Ortman, with $1.7 million in the bank at the end of 2013. Ortman has raised only $250,000 so far.

McFadden is not ruling out running in a primary if he does not win the party endorsement.

The most recent pie chart on the MN GOP Facebook page, as of this writing, shows Ortman up by 30-27.