You can count me as someone unconcerned that former Carolina Panthers player Mike Minter would be a particularly strong candidate against Larry Kissell.
The first reason is that I imagine his name recognition is actually not very high. My guess is that maybe 20% of 8th District voters have heard of him. We did a poll in Minnesota last month where we asked people whether they considered themselves sports fans and 55% of respondents said yes. I imagine that number is pretty similar everywhere so you have almost half the population right there not interested in sports, and within that I bet more than half are casual fans who have maybe heard of Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith, and Julius Peppers and probably not much of anyone else.
The second reason is that just because you're involved in sports and people like you does not mean they think you should be elected to public office. We saw that just yesterday when we tested Roy Williams against Richard Burr. 61% of folks across the state said they had a favorable opinion of Williams, but within that group only 44% said they would vote to elect him to the Senate.
And the third reason is that sometimes these non politicians- and football players in particular- who decide to run for office don't hold up so well when they're actually asked to provide some substance. If you have not seen the infamous Brock Olivo video from Missouri last year, watch it. I'm sure Minter won't flop that badly if he runs but his background almost puts more pressure on him to prove he knows his stuff than he would have otherwise.
And I don't think black voters are likely to vote for Minter just because he's black. My guess is if Minter is who the Republicans end up with Kissell gets reelected with 60% of the vote. If he really gets in we'll poll it and see where it starts out.