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Minnesota DFL Beats Expectations

by Grace Kelly on October 28, 2014 · 0 comments

According to a Yougov/CBS poll The DFL in Minnesota should not be doing as well electorally as it is doing. Note that we are listed in the chart below behind Wisconsin and Michigan in scoring on progressive issues. I think the explanation must be that the DFL does better campaigning. When I personally crunched the numbers given in the spreadsheet to compare Minnesota to an average of all the states, Minnesota did not stand out that much.


Yougov Poll Results


The good news in the governors race first:




Mark Dayton 47%
Jeff Johnson 39%




Mark Dayton 46%
Jeff Johnson 31%


Only 33% indicated that they could change their mind in this race. Of course, this race may be closer because getting Democrats to actually vote is always an issue. In my personal doorknocking experience, Dayton is seen favorably because the Minnesota/Wisconsin comparison is hitting home.


The good news in the senators race next:




Al Franken 47%
Mike McFadden 39%




Al Franken 49%
Mike McFadden 34%


According to the polling, the ads are favoring Al Franken. I especially like the ad where the the guy says look at the place behind me with no jobs. McFadden is getting stuck with being an outsourcing Republican.


More likely to vote for Al Franken 34%
More likely to vote for Mike McFadden 29%
No difference 37%


Strangely even though the Democrats lead, the generic preference is slightly Republican.


19. Which party would you like to see control Congress after the election?


Democrats 43%
Republicans 45%
Don’t care 12%


Issues are also queried in this poll. Only 13% of respondents believe in never having abortions which is good news. People believe that our state economy is better. 41% people oppose the Tea Party compared to the 19% who support them. 61% of people believe that economic system favors the wealthy. 49% want to kick out illegal immigrants. 49% of the people still just want to cut taxes while the rest while 40% most favor a mixture of raising taxes and cutting spending. 52% favor gay marriage.


This poll is weighted toward likely voters and does have more 3% more men that I would expect, so therefore any work that the DFL has done to encourage new voters may not be reflected in the results. This year 15% of voters expect to early vote or absentee vote which should help DFL results. This is the GOTV battleground year.



MN-08: Nolan has double-digit polling lead

by Dan Burns on October 2, 2014 · 9 comments

nolanHot off the presses:

A new DCCC poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner finds Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan up a rather comfortable 48-37 over Republican Stewart Mills, despite the fact that Green Party candidate Skip Sandman is taking 7 percent of the vote. This is actually the first poll we’ve seen here, but just a couple of weeks ago, Nolan admitted that the race was a “dead heat.”
So either Nolan’s internals were whack, this poll is off-base, or the Democrats’ ad campaign has simply been a lot better than the Republicans’. I’m gonna bank on door number three, particularly if we don’t see responsive numbers from Mills.
(Daily Kos Elections)

I’m thinking the third door, myself, though there’s also the possibility that Nolan wasn’t being entirely straightforward about that “dead heat” thing. Have to avoid complacency, you know. And of course I have to add the caveats about this being just one poll, the only one that counts is on Election Day, etc.
A lot of people will claim that this should be dismissed, because “Democratic pollster.” Don’t buy it.
As far as an explanation, in addition to the above, it also so happens that Mills, a veritable exemplar of unearned privilege, can’t seem to open his mouth without sounding like an idiot. And there’s The Hair. I’m serious; a lot of crusty old farmers, factory workers, and so forth, take it as a personal insult that some kid won’t even get a grown-up haircut before asking for their votes. That recent DCCC ads have included images of Stewart smoothing down The Hair is no accident, and that’s at least as effective as anything else in them. Most people vote mostly based on habit. The #2 factor, though, isn’t careful, objective consideration of the candidates and the issues (which, in this case, certainly goes Nolan’s way by, like, infinity). It’s first impressions and snap judgments.


This is a blue district. Nolan beat down an incumbent by almost nine points in 2012. Many “analysts” are choosing to focus entirely on President Obama barely having won it. Well, if Barack Obama was a white guy named something like “Don Smith,” he’d have won MN-08 by plenty more than one point or whatever it was. Trust me; I live here. Which isn’t to suggest that any other district, anywhere, is really “post-racial,” yet, one way or another, either.


Many theories are running wild about why Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Republican primary. This the first House Majority Leader to lose a primary election, since the position was created in 1899 Immigration is being blamed, even though immigration reform is actually very popular in Cantor’s district.


However I think that Cantor loss is simply described that he published his expected victory by a huge margin so his voters stayed home. The small numbers of primary voting are always an opportunity for a dedicated minority to win.


What was worse is that Eric Cantor was in a close race and he didn’t know it. Last week, The Daily Caller had a poll conducted by Vox Populi that showed Cantor’s lead slipping, but he was still ahead by 13 points. Here is the kicker – they only polled “likely” Republican primary voters. They would have missed the new voters supporting the Tea Party candidate. The clues were in the enthusiasm of Tea Party support.


Cantor did not do the correct things because he hired a notoriously bad pollster, McLaughlin and Associates, that showed Cantor leading by a 62 percent to 28 percent margin.


It is not surprising that Cantor is so distant from reality that he can’t even run a successful primary campaign.


One thing is sure – that this loss scares Republicans. Republicans never deal with reality very well. So instead of realizing the Cantor essentially did the stupid thing of telling his voters to stay home, they will come up with something else – like he was not conservative enough.

Cantor Tweet


If the Republicans keep running campaigns as badly as they govern, the Democrats definitely have a chance of getting back the house while keeping the senate!



Do we care that Republicans stop accepting evolution?

by Eric Ferguson on January 2, 2014 · 7 comments

How did evolution, in the biological sense, come to be a partisan issue? Let’s start with a recent poll by Pew Research showing that such is happening. h/t TPM. 60% of Americans accept it, at least in some form, including the maybe-God-is-directing-it sort of acceptance, 33% deny it, which are about the same proportions as the same poll in 2009. The partisan difference is interesting though. 67% of Democrats accept evolution, but only 43% of Republicans. The Democrats have ticked up from 64% since 2009, while Republicans have dropped from 54% —  statistical evidence Republicans have made themselves more delusional.


Do we care if they think the world’s biologists are making it all up? I used to say no. Do we decide to build highways or railroads based on whether life on Earth has always been exactly like it is now? Do we predicate tax rates on opinions about the age of the universe? Based on the rule “your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”, I looked at my unbloodied nose, and formerly didn’t care if anyone wouldn’t distinguish Darwin and the devil.


The key word is “formerly”, as in something dawned on me eventually. It wasn’t being wrong on one scientific question that mattered. It was how they got there and where it leads them. The problem is the attitude that science is just another opinion, and I, with an opinion based on my gut or preferred belief or evidence-optional whatever, have least as good an opinion. So if evolution and the big bang, with the mountains of evidence supporting them, can be readily dismissed, what about questions that are less clear but clearly involve public policy? Where getting the answer wrong might proverbially bloody my nose? OK, now I care. If your opinion based on what feels right is equal to someone else’s reams of data, this is bad, though it does explain why some issues are so controversial. If you can reject overwhelming evidence as just another opinion just because of anything, how much worse when such evidence runs into not only religious belief, but into someone’s investment, someone’s fears of job loss, someone’s whatever emotional context they bring to it.


So yes, it absolutely is worth getting out of other people’s heads that one opinion is as good as another regardless of evidence, and disturbing that Republicans have grown less willing to accept science. It’s not surprising, at least to anyone who has followed debates on environmental issues, but still disturbing. Maybe new data came out that put evolution in doubt, and only Republicans were informed. Seems a bit unlikely. Dare we hope the drop in accepting evolution is just a matter of reality-based people being less willing to identify as Republicans?  Even at that, 40% believe evolution is false or don’t know. Ouch. Not a new ouch, an old-news sort of ouch, but ouch nonetheless.


So what to do? Worry about how people got there rather than where they ended up. Start with ourselves. “Feels right” isn’t an argument. Certainty has no relation to correctness. Hopefully even the most epistemologically closed mind will accept those starting propositions. And Democrats, come on: we’re supposed to be the reality-based community, right? Yet one-third of us either don’t accept evolution or think it’s as likely one way as the other. If Republicans are turning creationist because that’s a requirement for membership, here’s hoping the slight uptick in Democrats who accept it isn’t just a matter of membership, because that’s the right conclusion for the wrong reason. Or dare we hope that reality-based people are identifying as Democrats?


That feels right, so I’ll believe that one.


obermueller-leads-klineWith a year to go before the 2014 mid-term elections, a Public Policy Polling poll shows DFL challenger Mike Obermueller leading Rep. John Kline 42% to 38%. Kline became an endangered Republican ever since redistricting in 2010 removed conservative Carver County in the western edge of his district and added in liberal West Saint Paul in the northeastern corner.
Additionally, demographic changes in the southern metro is turning the southern suburbs bluer.

And 42 percent of respondents view him unfavorably, while only 32 percent view him favorably. He sees similar numbers approving of his job performance — 31 percent — and disapproving — 40 percent.
PPP also surveyed respondents on a number of negative statements about the candidates, typically a type of polling used by campaigns to test the potency of various political attacks.
Both surveys indicate a prevailing anti-incumbent sentiment could be hurting the lawmakers. A plurality of voters in each district, when offered two negative statements about the incumbents, choose the suggestion that they’re “part of the problem in Washington” as the more concerning of the two.
(The Hill)

This is great news for Obermueller. Any incumbent trailing in a poll this far out is in trouble. 2014 will be Obermueller’s second tilt at Kline. Obermueller did better than any prior DFLer garnering 45.85% in 2012.
Kline has never faced a close raise since winning his third attempt in 2002. Every DFL challenger has had trouble raising money and gaining any traction.
This news should give Obermueller a huge boost. He was already on the DCCC’s radar and this will surely help build some momentum. Something previous DFLers have never been able to do.
Read the poll’s questions below the fold…


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has a poll up for her constituents. No, not the folks from Minnesota’s Sixth District. Minnesotans are not her constituents. They never have been nor ever will be.

She has a poll up for her national constituents: the evangelicals, Tea Party members and any other assorted conservatives at her campaign website … provided they make a donation.

Okay, I guess she only cares if they make a donation. Typical.

2013 Conservative Priorities Survey

As a conservative leader in the House of Representatives, I’m one of a limited number of voices fighting for your views and your concerns against President Barack Obama’s destructive liberal agenda in Washington, D.C.

That’s why I’ve created a special 2013 Conservative Priorities Survey for you to complete. From rising taxes and debt to Obamacare, soaring gas prices, and gun control — your answers are extremely important so please do not delay.

Please take a moment to complete the below survey, and afterwards make your most generous contribution to my campaign to ensure our voice is still heard loud and clear in Washington.

How would you describe your ideological views?
 Very Conservative

Thinking about the recent election, do you think our country is heading in the right direction?
 Not Sure

Under what circumstance would you consider raising the debt ceiling?
 With the enactment of a balanced budget
 If Congress cuts enough spending
 The debt ceiling needs to be raised regardless to protect the nation’s economy
 Under no circumstance

Please rate the following issues by their priority to you in the new Congress:

Repealing Obamacare:
 Very Important
 Somewhat Important
Not Important

Protecting our 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms:
 Very Important
 Somewhat Important
 Not Important

Supporting the nation of Israel as one of America’s strongest allies in the War on Terror:
 Very Important
 Somewhat Important
 Not Important

Securing our borders and rejecting amnesty for illegal aliens:
 Very Important
 Somewhat Important
 Not Important

What issues are most important to you? (check all that apply)
 Fiscal Cliff and Tax Reform
 Health Care Reform
 The War on Terror and National Security
 Gun Control
 Economy / Job Creation
 Family Values
 Affordable Energy

Which government programs do you support cutting to pay off our national debt? (check all that apply)
 Social Security
 Foreign Aid
 Sell off some government owned land

Finally, I want to hear from you- what do you want to see the 113th Congress accomplish?


Cravaack failing to deny reality of poll numbers

by The Big E on October 23, 2012 · 0 comments

A recent Pulse Opinion Research poll conducted for the Minneapolis Star Tribune indicates that Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN/NH) will likely be a one-term Member of Congress. DFL challenger Rick Nolan leads by 7% with 7% undecided and a 3% margin of error.

Since moving to New Hampshire hasn’t stopped Cravaack from representing Minnesota’s Eighth District, why would a poll?

If his right wing, Tea Party voting record hasn’t stopped him from attempting to position himself as a moderate, why would a poll slow him down?

The Cravaack campaign disputed the poll numbers, saying they do not track with other polls in the race. “There is not a single person who would say these numbers are reflective of the state of the race,” said Cravaack advisor Ben Golnik, who also took note of Star Tribune poll data showing Cravaack with a seven-point lead among independent voters. “As is always the case in Minnesota, independent voters determine the winner,” he said.
[my emphasis]

Oh, really? Not a single person, Mr. Golnick?

Why didn’t Golnik use a more plausible explanation like Cravaack’s internal polling shows the race much closer. Team Cravaack claimed that in 2010 and, most importantly, they were right.

Instead, Golnik just positions Cravaack as a reality denier.

And “independent voters determine the winner”, huh? Not necessarily. As I noted last week:

Cravaack won in a non-presidential year when turnout was low and the Tea Party was riding high. Cravaack and the GOP did a good job of getting their people out. And the DFL and allies failed utterly. Yet, Cravaack didn’t win by much.

277,081 voted in 2010. Cravaack won by just under 5,000. 375,284 voted in 2008. That’s a hair under 100,000 more votes. Even considering turnout in ’08 was freaky high, turnout in the previous presidential year (2004) was still 350,000. So expecting 70,000 more voters this time out isn’t unrealistic.

Everyone knows that when turnout is high, DFL candidates do better.

Independent voters may have given Cravaack the winning margin in 2010, but the largest percentage of the 70K who will turn up in two weeks are going to be DFLers.

Cravaack can try to deny the reality that he didn’t move to New Hampshire, isn’t a Tea Party Republican, doesn’t want to end Medicare and Social Security all he wants. He can try to position himself as a moderate and pretend his constituents could talk with him (at least the conservative ones were allowed to) all he wants.

But the reality looks like Rick Nolan will be returning to Congress.


New KSTP/SUSA poll is Christmas in October

by Jeff Rosenberg on October 18, 2012 · 0 comments

Remember when we told you that September’s KSTP/SurveyUSA poll was an outlier? It looks like we were right. A newly-released poll is chock full of wonderful news: The Marriage Discrimination Amendment appears headed for defeat, the Voter Restriction Amendment is surprisingly close to falling below 50% support, and the DFL has a big lead in the generic legislative ballot.

Q: Also on the ballot is a ballot measure about marriage. It asks: Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”
A: Yes 47% No 46% Undecided 7%

Q: Also on the ballot is a measure about voter identification. It asks: Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”
A: Yes 53% No 40% Undecided 7%

Q: If the 2012 elections for the Minnesota Legislature were held today, would you be more likely to vote for a Republican candidate? a DFL candidate? Independence Party candidate? Or some other candidate?
A: Republican 36% DFL 45% Independence Party 8% Other 3% Undecided 9%

We called the September KSTP poll an outlier because it bizarrely showed 18-34 year-olds supporting the amendment by a large margin. Basic observation skills tell us that’s unlikely. The new poll shows them in opposition by one point. Even that overstates their support, I suspect, but it’s much closer to reality. Assuming that undecideds break against the amendment, as I expect they will, and the amendment looks poised for defeat.

The Voter Restriction Amendment would still pass if the election were held today, but every poll shows a tighter race than most political observers would have expected. There were three weeks left when the poll was taken, which means there’s still time for it to tighten even more. Can the momentum against the amendment be sustained? Here’s some good news on that front: The poll shows that 30 percent of DFLers still support the amendment. If the DFL and its candidates can manage to sharply decrease that number, the amendment can be defeated.
Finally, the DFL is in line for some big gains in the legislature. Asking about the Independence Party is a bit odd, but the crosstabs show that DFLers and Republicans said they’d vote for the IP in equal proportion, so the DFL’s 9-point advantage probably isn’t being skewed by the question. That’s a major lead, with major implications for the final House and Senate results.

According to Tony Petrangelo’s model, a 7-point lead probably equates to a 77-57 advantage in the House, and a 10-point lead to a 84-5 advantage. Similarly, a 7-point lead equates to a 41-26 advantage in the Senate, while a 10-point lead means a 46-21 advantage. Those numbers are just estimates, of course, but a 9-point lead means a DFL takeover in the legislature.

Christmas in October, indeed!


Michele Bachmann: the SurveyUSA/KSTP poll

by Bill Prendergast on October 17, 2012 · 1 comment

A Survey USA/KSTP poll reports Michele Bachmann currently running nine points ahead of her Dem opponent Jim Graves in this year’s race. The Minnesota Progressive Project blog contacted a reliable source familiar with the Graves campaign who offered the following information about polling…

A Greenberg Quinlan poll commissioned by the Graves campaign was conducted on Oct. 3-4. It shows the following:

Bachmann: 47
Graves: 45

That result is in line with other polls conducted this year:

June 12-14:  Bachmann 48, Graves 43
August 29-30:  Bachmann 48, Graves 46
October 3-4: Bachmann 47, Graves 45

The source concludes: the KSTP poll showing Bachmann up by nine points “appears to be nothing but an aberration.”

Let’s hope so. But here’s something else you need to know about the KSTP/SurveyUSA polling:
At the beginning of September, a SurveyUSA/KSTP poll reported that “an amendment to define marriage in Minnesota as between one man and one woman is today favored to pass 50% to 43%.”

But in the same month, Public Policy Polling (PPP) found a virtual tie on the very same issue:

PPP’s newest poll on the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota finds it virtually tied, with 48% of voters supporting the ban to 47% who oppose it.

Which polling oufit was getting it right? The one that showed the “no gay marriage” lobby seven points ahead, or the one that showed a virtual tie on the issue?

Let’s see. Later in September, the Minneapolis Star Tribune poll showed “support the amendment: 49%–against the amendment 47%.”

A PPP poll conducted at the beginning of October and released on October 8 reported:
“support the amendment: 46% –against the amendment: 49%.”

It seems clear that the SurveyUSA/KSTP poll was the outlier on the gay marriage amendment. So their result showing Bachmann with a comfortable lead over Graves may be an outlier, too.

And: the Minnesota Progressive Project’s Dan Burns points out that DCCC has decided to get into this race this very week, to support the Graves campaign. Would they devote their considerable resources toward winning this race, at this moment–if their numbers showed that Bachmann was far ahead?

LINK: The SurveyUSA/KSTP poll. One interesting thing…”Bachmann’s lead comes entirely from men”…she’s losing women voters. Nine per cent undecided……

Next: Bachmann fundraising continues to astonish. From Brian Lambert at the MinnPost:

(So far this year) Bachmann’s fundraising haul likely exceeds the combined amount raised by all of the major party candidates in the other eight U.S. Senate and House races in (Minnesota.) … While capable of raising enormous sums of money, Bachmann’s fundraising apparatus is expensive to maintain. As MPR News reported last month, Bachmann’s campaign has spent on average about 16 cents of every dollar raised on bringing in more cash.” You’d almost think fund-raising is why she’s in Congress.

There’s evidence of that. Bachmann raised $4.5 millions dollars for this year’s re-election bid in just three months. Despite this, she’s still telling supporters that she desperately needs more money. From an email she sent out yesterday:

…your continued support has never been more important. The hyper-liberals at the DCCC are working day and night to defeat us, and we need to fight back. The fastest way to join our campaign is by making an online donation.

Won’t you please give my campaign “a boost” by making a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more?

God bless,


P.S. Fellow Conservative — the DCCC is threatening to destroy the very values which you and I believe so strongly in. We will never be able to compete with their millions but with your donation we will be able to fight back and spread our conservative message across Minnesota. Please make your most generous contribution right away.

That’s pretty shameless, telling people that you really need their $25 bucks when you’re already sitting on more than $4.5 million and nearly twenty per cent of every dollar they’ve given you goes to more fundraising. But no one can doubt: the lie works.…

Next: We suspected Bachmann’s wild charge was BS–and by God and as usual, it was:

Receiving the controversial HPV vaccine does not make young girls more likely to have sex, a new study says.

Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S., and it can lead to several types of cancer. But there is political resistance to the HPV vaccine, in part because of fears that girls will become more promiscuous if they’ve been vaccinated…

…But fears of increased promiscuity are unfounded, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics…

Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum were playing “religious right/hate big government” politics with the lives of young girls. They excoriated GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry for mandating the vaccine in Texas. Perry responded that he was trying to do the right thing in order to prevent cancer in young women.

The appearance of this study in Pediatrics arrives to late to help Perry. But it’s not too late to ask Bachmann if Perry did the right thing–if she still opposes a government cancer prevention program that doesn’t encourage promiscuity.…

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Daddy’s little girl crushing grousing chauvinists

by Eric Ferguson on September 28, 2012 · 0 comments

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is running against unknown chauvinist guyThe Kurt Bills campaign didn’t like the results of the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll. That part is easy to understand. Sen. Klobuchar leads State Rep. Bills (R-Goldbug) by 29 points. Over 60% don’t recognize Bills name. Yeah, um, they might come to recognize it now. Certainly the state’s women will come to recognize his name, and many no doubt recognized some of their own experience in the Bills campaign’s reaction.

Not content to respond by saying their internal numbers show only a 15 point deficit, they showed, well, a chauvinistic level of maturity:

In a news release on Thursday, Bills campaign manager Mike Osskopp said the poll oversampled Democrats and said, “Don’t forget, Amy’s Dad was a columnist for the Star Tribune for 3 decades. It’s no coincidence that they are pulling for Daddy’s little girl.” Later, Osskopp e-mailed a fundraising appeal to supporters that said “Daddy’s newspaper needs to protect daddy’s little girl.”

Jim Klobuchar was a columnist with the newspaper for 30 years before retiring in 1996.

Should we count the levels of stupid?
Where to start? Let’s go for the big one, using the phrase “daddy’s little girl” for an accomplished middle-aged woman. And come on, like a retired columnist runs the newspaper? It’s not like the younger Klobuchar came from the sort of privileged background that produces Republican presidential nominees. It’s also not like Osskopp and Bills have any excuse to be unaware the Star Tribune has changed ownership two or three times since Jim Klobuchar retired, or that most of the staff has turned over, including the people who run the paper, so they probably don’t even know Jim Klobuchar except for recognizing his name. Which is more stupid, the thought, or the deliberately offensive phrasing? I’ll say the phrasing, since not knowing about the Star Tribune can be attributed to ignorance, while the attitude requires a dose of meanness too.

Perhaps the stupid wasn’t in having that thought but expressing it, and not in an off-hand comment or as a quickly regretted and deleted tweet, but in an actual press release. Look again at the quote above, “In a news release…”. Osskopp said it again in a “…fundraising appeal to supporters…”. He meant to say it. That’s what he came up with after thinking it through. Did the candidate know that’s the sort of person he hired for a campaign manager, because it’s not the first time? Did Bills approve of the press release and fundraising letter? Maybe Osskopp gets to put out press releases and fundraising letters without checking with anyone, in which case, Bills needs to stop that and disavow what Osskopp said. So far, he hasn’t. If Bills approved, then his huge deficit is going to get so big he’ll already be trailing in his next election, if he ever runs for anything again, which seems like an eminently bad idea.

So let’s ask other Republicans if they still support their US Senate candidate, assuming they know who he is, and don’t pretend to be among the 60% asking “Bills who?” If they do, are they OK with referring to women who have their own accomplishments as “daddy’s little girl”? Do they care to explain that to women still thinking of voting for them?

The smart Republicans will be easy to identify. They’ll be separating themselves from Bills as quickly as possible. We would be fools not to urge them on to a decision.