Yes, I was the one interviewed on MPR
Audio linked here.
With polls showing many voters don't know who he is, more debates offer Hutchinson a free way to improve his name recognition. But while Pawlenty and Hatch are two of the state's best known politicians, neither one has a clear lead in the race. The candidates are well aware of their neck-and-neck standing in the polls, which may explain why Pawlenty - a popular incumbent - feels the need to go on the offensive against Hatch's campaign promises, and why Hatch continues to pound away at Pawlenty's record.
As they do so, they run the risk of alienating undecided voters like Eva Young of Minneapolis, who said Hutchinson won the debate in her mind because he answered the questions...
"I thought Hutchinson made more sense on the transportation issue, and he was more honest about it. If you're going to do this, you should do it by a gas tax rather than by MVST and hoping it's going to pass," she said.
MVST is the nickname for the proposed transportation funding amendment. Young says she didn't like the way Hatch kept talking about rural Minnesota to a Minneapolis audience, and she's upset with Pawlenty over his support for a new Twins stadium.
But undecided voters were clearly the minority at the U of M debate. Many audience members wore red "Pawlenty for governor" T-shirts, or buttons supporting Hatch or Hutchinson's Team Minnesota. The debate was interrupted twice by audience members yelling at the candidates, until being escorted out by security. It was sponsored by Debate Minnesota, a group holding more than a dozen debates in several races across the state, and the University of Minnesota's Department of Communication Studies. The candidates for governor will debate again next week in Rochester.
Hutchinson and Pawlenty supporters were out in force. Mike Hatch's campaign didn't make any effort to get supporters out.
I think it's very interesting that part of Hatch's concern about MVST, is that there is too much money going to transit. So will Mike Hatch be a "we don't want no choo choo trains" democrat in the Governor's Office?