Several factors led to Short's victory. While he was anti tax and abortion, he was also pro snowmobile and motorboat. The former stance was merely safe; the latter brought him a windfall of votes from the northern part of the state, where locals, dependent on tourist income, are up in arms over government restriction of the use of such machines in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a wilderness of lakes on the Canadian border. Another factor was at Short's elbow throughout the final week of campaigning. Billy Martin, out of a job in New York but as popular as ever in the Twin Cities, stumped the state for his old pal.
Short, who would undoubtedly have an uphill fight getting himself elected dogcatcher in Washington, D.C., a town that has neither forgotten nor forgiven his moving the Senators to Texas in 1972, also benefited from the fact that Minnesotans never gave a hoot that he moved the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles in 1960.