Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the state GOP convention over the weekend, Republicans need to take to heart the results of the last round of elections in 2006 when voters stripped the GOP of its control over Congress in favor Democrats.
It's time, Pawlenty told the party faithful, to pull out Ronald Reagan's playbook and to broaden the appeal of the GOP by better selling its message.
"We got to have our ideas connect and be meaningful with people like my family of origin, those Reagan Democrats and independents," Pawlenty said. "We can do a great job of getting Republicans together, and we should. We got to responsible to do that, but you can get every Republican in the state of Minnesota today to go out and vote, and you know what we're going to get in the election? 35 percent."
But even pulling the Republican party together may prove to be something of a challenge in Minnesota.
Presidential hopeful Ron Paul traveled to Rochester in hopes of addressing the convention but he was relegated to a stump speech outside of the Mayo Civic Center.
That angered his supporters, among them delegate Tom Giebel of Lakeland.
"We do have to get behind the Republican team and push for victory in November. But to eliminate any discussion on the issues is not the way to do it and that's all we asked for is to have our voice heard," Giebel said.
The main order of business for the convention was to endorse Sen. Norm Coleman's bid for a second term. That happened by unanimous voice vote.
Still there are indications Coleman's effort to "bring people together" is threatening to drive away some Republicans.
Many delegates openly complained that Coleman is not conservative enough. When Coleman talked about energy policy during his speech, many delegates interrupted him shouting "ANWR," in protest of his opposition to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
"This is where we have to come together on the issue of energy independence is one of them," Coleman said.
Delegate Barry Hicketheir was wearing a Coleman campaign button, but acknowledged the concerns.
"You know if he sticks a little more to the conservative side, it would certainly fire-up his base," Hicketheir said. "I understand, you know, he's representing an entire state, so he has to strike a balance there, but yeah, I would like to see him on things like I mentioned, on ANWR, be a little more open to exploration."
While there was division on the floor and in the hallways, from the convention podium came call after call for unity.
Gov. Pawlenty told delegates they must become united.
"We have got to be united. No matter what our differences may be, there is no difference compared to what we're going to get if Barack Obama is president," Pawlenty said.
And right before leaving Rochester, one of the most divisive figures in politics also urged delegates to get behind the Republican ticket.
"Let's give a warm Minnesota, a rousing Minnesota welcome for Karl Rove," the speaker said from the podium.
Rove told delegates they needed to unite and do their part, if Republicans are going to win the election.
"This election is not going to be won by John McCain or Norm Coleman they got big roles to play don't get me wrong. They got to do terrible things. They got to raise money and make endless speeches, but we got a role to play. It is a role that we need to play united," Rove told the delegates.
Rove spent most of his time ridiculing Democratic Presidential candidates Barack Obama, saying Obama should use his visit to St. Paul Tuesday night to start offering specifics about what he would do as President.