click here to download
Making History:
The Life of Charles H. Backstrom

(1.6 MB; 188 pp.)

Reactions (back)

From Joe Graba
     In 1982, Minnesota Attorney General Warren Spannus, the DFL party’s chosen candidate for governor, was challenged in the primary election by Lt. Governor Rudy Perpich. Charles was doing polling for the Spannus campaign. On election day, early reported results showed a substantial lead for Spannus but Charles assured the campaign staff that the news was not as good as it appeared. Based on Charles’s sampling data, the votes left to come in would be overwhelmingly for Perpich, and surely enough for him to win.
     I was then the chief of staff for Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, and called the Spannus campaign staff that evening to find out how things were going. “Looks good, right?” I asked. “No,” the campaign contact replied. “We’ve got numbers from Charlie Backstrom, and we’re sure enough now of a loss that we’re closing-up shop here.” Shortly afterward, I was riding in the elevator at the Capitol with my boss when Moe said “Well, it looks pretty good for us, doesn’t it!” I said “No, no it doesn’t. The votes left to come in are all for Perpich, and we’ve lost it. Just wait for it.” Moe was surprised.
     I let Moe believe I had divined the truth from above. It was Charles who made me look like a hero, but I never told anyone until now.



Do you have:

►   a message you want to send to Charles Backstrom? 
►   an interesting recollection about Charles? 
►   questions or comments about this website or its contents?

Please click here to send us an email.