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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Kerry Holds Strong Lead in MN

A new Minneapolis Star-Tribune Poll conducted Sept. 10-13 has John Kerry leading George Bush 50-41 among Minnesota LV’s, with 1 percent for other and 8 percent unsure.

42 comments on “Kerry Holds Strong Lead in MN

  1. Sara on

    Very interesting additional poll from Minnesota, plus an interesting interpretation.
    This morning the Mason/Dixon poll sponsored by MN Public Radio and the Pioneer Press came out, and it seems on the surface the flip side of the Strib poll that came out yesterday. But before one jumps to the conclusion that Minnesota flipped nine points in one day, (We don’t do anything that fast), I’d suggest looking up the first hour of the mid-morning program on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) with Larry Jacobs of U of Minnesota Political Science Dept., public scholar on the arts and sciences of bean counting. Apparently the M/D poll that put Bush up a point or two had no question to identify “leaners” — but rather forced choices in a relatively small sample. The Strib poll which was considerably larger, and thus a smaller margin of error, apparently was more focused on identifying the uncommitted, and the leaners. Jacobs essentially put the two polls together and concludes that bush/kerry are in a virtual tie — perhaps Kerry is up one point, but that the range for both is probably about 43-45 with at least 10% undecided or leaning. He believes this will ultimately break for Kerry given demographics of leaners and uncommitted.
    I strongly recommend listening (it is a radio program) to the whole thing, including the calls from lots of uncommitted leaners which Jacobs carefully discusses.

  2. BJ Clinton on

    Uh oh,
    Looks like the Dem thought police are stepping in to restrict speech.
    Not surprising really, Dems only favor “free” speech that reflects the party line. Thats why Kerry tried to silence the vets but I RATHER hear all sides. Keep this up and you lose your majority even faster than you already are.
    I wonder if I’m a trailblazer. I hope I don’t get a knock on my door. Guess troll is ok but f** hurts people’s feelings.
    No matter, this site will be empty on Nov 3rd.
    4 More Years!

  3. BJ Clinton on

    You’re really reaching back to pick the scab off ole Clarence Thomas. Resonates about as much as “they stole the election in Florida” will in 2008.
    Colin Powell and Condi Rice are the new face of black conservatives. It broke my heart to see JC Watts get frozen out of the leadership, but that was more because he hadn’t paid his dues (i.e. seniority, introducing legislation, etc.) than any resistance to inclusiveness. Hey, we love JC and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return. He’s all over the tube making the case for W.
    Speaking of Clarence Thomas, it’s almost a sure bet that Bush will get to nominate at least 2 supremes (maybe 3). Bet that makes your heart flutter! Of course the Dems will fight tooth and nail, but then we get to use that against them in 2008.
    Gabby, turn away from the darkside and come into the light!
    4 More Years!

  4. Bill on

    Blog blog blog, all your blogging will not chang that your candidate sucks and George Bush will be re-elected in 04, however because you insist that he was selected not elected (even though 4 different liberal newspapers found that even when recounting, Bush still won) I would propose he run again in ’08 so he can win again. Donkey rising is not the correct name, there is another word for donkey. ASS rising would be appropriate. However rising does not properly characterize the DNC so ASS FALLING would be proper. I can’t wait to see you guys realize your political futility and become militant like an American Al Queda so I can see you guys getting hauled off to the looney bin.

  5. gabby hayes on

    They won’t even let Clarence Thomas write opinions, and it’s a good thing, because he’s the end result of 35 years of Republican affirmative action. That is where they find some black face and make it a “success” just for being a good Republican ornament.
    JC Watts couldn’t even get anywhere in the lame ass House, so forget any black getting anywhere near the ticket in the White Man Party.

  6. dn on

    “Obama may have a bright future, but the first black president will be a Republican. He, or she, will be judged on their principles and not because of their skin color.”
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the first black (or woman) President were conservative, actually. The pattern is that these candidates pick off some moderate-liberal voters and that they don’t frighten conservatives enough for race/gender to trump everything else.
    That being said, *cough* Clarence Thomas *cough.* For the anti-affirmative action party, the Republicans have certainly proven themselves eager to make appointments based on race rather than qualifications.

  7. hg on

    I travel all over the state for work. Bush is not going to win here. Last election there was no enthusiasm at all for Gore and people were reticent to say where they stood out in the countryside, Kerry is doing a lot better in this regard. This year also, I hear plenty of Bush-bashing from people who would be considered solid Republican based on economic screw-ups, Iraq, the debt (especially the debt). Kerry can make big inroads into Bush leaners on these issues.
    Also, I see a lot more

  8. BJ Clinton on

    I don’t listen to AM radio because they are preaching to the choir. We wouldn’t have AM radio or Fox if your side didn’t dominate CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NY Times, WaPo, LA Times, and most major market newspapers. I’m sure you are for balanced reporting, right?
    You are right about Dems having the lead in party identification. A lot of my older relatives believed that Roosevelt saved the country and are registered Dems. But they are still voting for Bush.
    Obama may have a bright future, but the first black president will be a Republican. He, or she, will be judged on their principles and not because of their skin color. You guys quote MLK but we are the party that will realize his aspirations.
    4 More Years!

  9. Spectator Consumer on

    Obama’s speech was very liberal. What made Obama’s speech sound different was that it wasn’t afraid to sell tradiationally democratic ideas and package it to all of America. In many ways Obama did what Clinton could at his best, except even more so. What is truly amazing, and what makes Obama so likely to be President someday, is that he can give a speech championing welfare, gay rights, and increased social funding and still manage to sould “republican” to some.
    Lots of people have been suggesting it, but I will too, read Garrison Keillor’s latest. First of all Keillor is Minnesotan, his observations, particularly the historical notes of the state’s populist tradition(like Wisconsin) will give you a good idea I’m so sure MN will never go Bush. If the economy were great, if we hadn’t had a such a contentious war, if Bush were better educated, if Bush didn’t sell himself as a Texan…well then, maybe you could convince me MN might go Bush. I’m not often in MN, however I have been this year, and you can certainly tell both sides are trying. For me, there are a surprising number of Bush Cheney banners in the smaller communities. But, having spent time in many states, let me assure you that MN is very much liberal. When you turn on local am radio you may just hear a local/liberal host going at BUsh(you wont find that in IL for example, even though Bush has no shot in IL.)
    Keillor, who love’s Obama hits on the central idea of progressivism that can make it the party for the this century. 1.)It’s values are those of the majority, the workers and the disadvantaged. 2)Democrats believe gov’t can do good, that it mustn’t always be viewed as a jackbooted police state 3)Democrats believe things aren’t set right yet, that equality of opportunity is the goal and we still have far to go, and 4)Towns and rural America are fine, but Urbanity is where America shines, libs are the party providing education, mass transit and at home in the city.
    Keillor gives a great argument that it is time for libs to stop taking this GOP whipping and to remember that despite a good 25 years of conservative domination in national politics, Dems still enjoy a modest lead in party ID. There is tremendous popular appeal in these basic tenets of progressivism, its time to do like Obama and remind America of them.
    Unless I’m totally off-base, I think we’ve seen the high water mark of conservatism for a long time to come. Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Hannity, O’reilly, Boortz, Gallagher are all doing the same schtick. America likes entertainment, but the constant whining gets very old. Yes, we know already, GOP men are victims of feminists, taxes and and godless pinkos.

  10. jg on

    Gore beat Bush by 2.5% in 2000.
    Gore 47.91%
    Bush 45.50%
    Spectator Consumer, sadly MN is in play and is a battleground state.
    I think the voting will largely mirror 2000 and it really will come down to handfuls of new voters here and there (namely Florida and Ohio) that could tip the advantage to Gore.
    I can’t believe that after four years of Bush that is where we stand, but it more and more looks like the reality.
    Still, I remember ’00 when it looked from the polls that Gore was going to get swamped but the outcome was otherwise. Keep that in mind and donate! GOTV effort must be huge – no excuse for it it not to be this year.

  11. scott on

    I’m guessing Scott, you realize Bush absolutely must win Ohio to have a shot…
    Why would I care?
    I have not voted for a Repub candidate for President since Reagan in 84…and due to Bush signing BCFRA, NCLB, and the Mediscare bill I will not be voting Repub this year, either.
    But, facts are facts…
    Check out Illinois!- Bush is within the MOE…
    Can you say “over”?

  12. BJ Clinton on

    I hate to say it but you’re right. Keyes is going to get thumped. I believe he has fallen in love with his own sound bites and now is probably good only for providing consolation entertainment for you guys.
    We still love him though, and least he’ll bloody Obama enough to take the luster off your new golden child. I mean, really, think how sad it is that Obama gives a Republican speech at the Dem Convention and you guys fall all over yourselves to annoint him the “future”.
    I want you to take these next 4 years to think how you’re even going to be relevant in the real future. You have lost your stranglehold on the Jewish vote, Reagan Democrats are saying “screw it, I guess I’m just a damn Republican”, and the Black voters are ready to leverage you guys even further to the left.
    Not only that, but you’re about to lose your most potent knock-out punch—“the media”! Rather is going down and he’s taking CBS with him. The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, ABC, NBC, USA Today—you guys got all the toys. But the bloggers are on your ass now.
    Don’t despair, you guys have a little time to adjust but you better get used to playing some “away games” in the future.
    4 More Years!

  13. Spectator Consumer on

    If any Dems ever need a pick me up, consider the Obama-Keyes “race.” I put race in quotes because its not a contest in the sense that Obama could lose. It will be a miracle if Keyes gets within 25 percent of Obama, he’s looking to lose by historic numbers.
    Alan is quality entertainment. The man that said Hillary was disrespecting the Constitution by running for senate in a state she didn’t live in. Some of Mr. Keyes’ latest jems involve claiming Jesus would vote for him, that everyone should have guns and he felt safer in Israel than America, Lynne Cheney and all gay people are selfish hedonists, that Senators shouldn’t be popularly elected but appointed, and that Obama is using a slave’s mentality because he will only grant the Keyes show 3 debates.

  14. LD on

    Regarding OH. Keep in mind that Gore only lost OH by 3 percentage points and that was after he quit advertizing and quit campaigning in the state during the last few critical weeks. He did that because the POLLS had Bush up with a double digit lead at that point. So much for polls. I know that many, many new voters have been registered in Ohio because of disgust with Bush. I am optimistic about Ohio.

  15. Spectator Consumer on

    As the creature responed, Ohio is very much in play. Certainly I would be dishonest if I claimed Kerry had an advantage there, clearly he doesn’t. All the same though, Ohio is very much a toss-up with two months to go.
    I’m guessing Scott, you realize Bush absolutely must win Ohio to have a shot…you’re right Bush needs it. As Kerry goes, PA, WI, MN are the same for him, he needs to, and likely will win them.
    Gabby hit it on the head about Kerry. Kerry simply isn’t going to lose any state Gore won. Whatever you think of Kerry, he is a superior candidate to Gore AND Bush has much higher negatives. Zogby called this race back in May for Kerry based on exactly this sort of state by state analysis. Bush barely beat Al Gore (and thats debateable) he’ll need to hold all the states he took in 2000, in my estimation, for him to return for second term.
    Ask yourself, how many people do you know that voted Gore last time are now going to vote Bush????? Kerry isn’t having a great few weeks, its true, but he is still very much in the driver’s seat.

  16. thecreature on

    Well Scott, if OH is so goddamn Republican, then explain Bush’s hairline (49-46) win in 2000.
    And then explain Clinton’s comfortable (41-48) win in ’96 and the fact that the margin of victory in OH has almost always been the same as the national one. Look it up. OH has ALWAYS voyed within a point of the national totals in every election since 1964.
    It IS a true tossup state, the Republican local edge notwithstanding.
    If local strength were the only factor, the Oklahoma and Alabama should be strong Democrat states. Your own theory disproves you.

  17. Scott on

    Ohio is a true toss up along with Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire and Arkansas.
    Ohio- State Representatives 62-37 Repub.
    Ohio- Senate 22-11 Repub.
    Ohio- 12-6 Repub. in the House.
    Ohio- both Repub. Senators since 92? (maybe 94)
    Ohio- Every( I repeat every) state-wide non-judicial office since 92 is Repub.(every. single. one!)
    Get a clue…

  18. thecreature on

    But remember, Gallup has this thing where they purposely take more Republicans than Democrats, based on the idea that Republicans are a lot more likely to vote. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the same polling organization that had Gore losing by 7 points the day before the last election.

  19. accommodatingly on

    CNN/Gallup released tonight has Bush 48, Kerry 46 in MN in a two-way, Bush 45, Kerry 45 in a three-way. Not so good. (Don’t know if it’s LVs or RVs.)

  20. gail on

    To Gabby – Love your optimistic post – so much more encouraging to read than many of the others – I hope you speak from more than wishful thinking! Anyway, thanks.

  21. Ed on

    Does anyone know why the internal polls CNN does on various news programs everyday always have a overwhelming bias towards the left view. CNN is certainly a lot more bi-partisan than it was three and 1/2 years ago. Does this just mean that more Demorcrats watch CNN or are these polls telling us something about the electorate. They are always 90% or better the liberal view..

  22. tony on

    Thanks. The Democratic Senators from LA strike me as a ways right of Kerry, and neither won very handily, which makes me skeptical about Louisiana, but it’s great to get the take on your thoughts, and I hope they’re correct.

  23. gabby hayes on

    Notice that the closer the race gets, the more the spin ministers of the right try to plant the “Kerry could lose states Gore won.”
    Anyone who thinks a Gore state will go for Bush is nuts. They all will go for Kerry.
    The ball game is the states that went for Bush, and there are a half dozen of those Kerry will pick off.
    300-325 electoral votes for Kerry

  24. Mimiru on

    Let me give you a sample of what the Republican Governor of Minnesota has done for us.
    Concealed weapons. Now, the state decides if a person can get a concealed weapons permit, not the local police/sheriff who actually know the person. They can carry them into any public place or any business without a huge honkin’ sign that says “NO GUNS.”
    College. My tuition has gone up 25% in TWO FUCKING YEARS. THANKS BUDDY.
    Yeah, I’m bitter. I live in Rural MN I guess or rather, a rather large town that has a rural flavor (Moorhead, pop 30,000 is part of a continous metro area made up of West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead, Dilworth with a pop. 140,000) and its still Bush area here so the Twin Cities will need to comethrough big to keep it in the Kerry camp.

  25. Spectator Consumer on

    Hey thanks for the question about Louisiana. Yes I certainly do believe its a toss-up. Now, I’ll grant you that LA is more likely to go Bush than Kerry, and I wouldn’t advise Kerry to spend lots there, however, the Dems can win there. Most specifically, look at the latest race for Gov., won by a democrat…a female no less. Louisiana is in the south, but it is not southern like texas, Alabama or Mississippi… Louisiana has the backwater bible thumpers, but it also home to New Orleans, one of the more socially liberal cities in America. Sort of like NM with Albuquerque, if you turn out the vote in N.O. you’ll likely win the state.
    But on larger issue, even if I’m wrong on NO being close, it was a GOP win in ’00 by only 140,000 votes, even though the precentage was Bush 53 to Gore 45. I’m one of the crowd that doesn’t see Kerry doing worse than Gore, regardless, so, along with the latest dem win for Gov, I think its a toss up.

  26. Sara on

    The comparable Strip poll in 2000 was a strong come uppance for the DFL and Gore campaign as it showed Nader drawing about 17% — meaning that the campaign 4 years ago was about knocking down Nader. It worked, but it was messy.
    Since the mid 90’s Minnesota’s politics have been strongly influenced by a third party — Reform or Independent — in 92 Ros Perot got 19% of the vote, mostly in the 8th district and northern suburbs of Mpls — and that is much of Jesse Ventura’s base. Much of that would be DFL in a two party trial — but it advantages the Republicans because it allows them to elect minority (less than 50%) candidates. Like it or not the DFL has to figure how to recapture that voter segment.

  27. David on

    Please continue your good work. You provide a real service by bringing clarity to the craziness of the campaign season. For example, your posting of the news on the Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll this afternoon showing Kerry up 50-41 indeed is a good sign for his campaign. In addition, I clicked on the link to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune story on the poll results and read what the paper had to say, which was on the whole good news for Mr. Kerry. However, I hadn’t anymore than read your posting and the Star-Tribune story than the results of the poll were referenced on Wednesday’s CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight report. Mr. Dobbs reported that the poll showed signs that Mr. Kerry was in some trouble in Minnesota. If I heard correctly, Mr. Dobbs mistakenly turned around the polling results and said Kerry was at 41 percent in the poll. This is a great example of the herd mentality of the national press. When the fortunes of the candidate start to turn south, they are ready to pounce and continue to pounce even when facts say otherwise. Lou interviewed David Gergen on his program after the Star-Tribune poll report was given and, as you can imagine, Mr. Gergen did not have good things to say about the campaign at this point in time. Lou Dobb’s report on the Star-Tribune poll seemed to reinforce Gergen’s views.

  28. tony on

    Louisiana? That’s the first I’ve heard of it as a battleground. Can you give some reasons? I’m more inclined to think of Nevada as a battleground than Louisiana.

  29. Ed on

    the creature,, the state Republican party got taken over by the religious right in the 90s,
    That’s the problem all over, they all think Bush is Jusus Christ in the flesh or at least the next thing to it. People are afraid to vote against God………….

  30. Spectator Consumer on

    I’ve been upset that MN is considered battleground for some time. MN will never go for Bush, it isn’t even an issue…same holds true for Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and PA. Forget the nonsense polling, Bush is the most hated President since Nixon you’ll see large turn outs that make these states easy wins for Kerry.
    Ohio is a true toss up along with Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire and Arkansas. The presidency will be decided by these 6 states, Bush needs to win ALL of them to take the Presidency. Don’t believe the hype, this is still Kerry’s to lose.

  31. brook on

    I was looking at the primary results on the Secretary of State website last night in my supposedly republican area, Washington County, and was suprized by how well dems fared, or at least turned out for a primary with little going on. What I was looking at was uncontested partisin races in areas with non partisin county and city races. I dont know if anything can really be gleaned from this, but if I was a republican candidate for the state house, I would be nervous.
    My candidate for county copmmissioner got bumped last night so I will be redoubling my efforts to squeeze every dem vote out in my precinct. We can take nothing for granted, Minnesotans are capable of almost anything in a crazy election.

  32. standa on

    Reality Check….
    Gore/Leiberman almost beat Bush/Cheney in 2000 winning the popular vote by 583,000. It came down to Florida…we know the story.
    For 4 years Bush has been misleading the public, distorting fact, and contriving false realities on virtually every major issue. His performance on the economy, jobs, healthcare, the environment, Iraq and more has been POOR to ABYSMAL.
    Bush/Cheney are now facing KERRY/EDWARDS who have the TALENT, EXPERIENCE, and TRUST to execute and deliver on a much better plan for America and Americans.
    Kerry has the right message that correctly characterizes the miserable FAILURE as the ”EXCUSE President’…
    “This president has created more excuses than jobs, never wrong, never responsible, never to blame. President Bush’s desk isn’t where the buck stops — it’s where the blame begins.”
    George W. Bush is a FAILURE, has NOT earned our TRUST, and should be FIRED.
    Can someone tell me how Kerry/Edwards can lose ?

  33. Dana on

    While the news is encouraging, I wouldn’t start opening the champagne in Minnesota on the basis of this one poll, Twin-Cities-based Kerry supporter that I am.
    Minnesota is a largely populist state, but its numbers have slid more toward purple than reddish blue in recent years (saving guns and saving babies is a lot of it). There’s every good reason to believe Kerry will carry MN, but we’ve lost too many state seats to Rs to relax now. If nothing else, GOP GOTV has improved to the point where we can’t just wait for the Iron Range and Twin Cities show up and give us the win.
    Also, the Star Tribune’s polls have been the source of some fair criticism in recent years, and it’s not known whether their methodology has improved. So, the poll is nice news, but we have to keep on fighting.

  34. thecreature on

    Frankly, I dunno why the Republicans still try to insist that MN is a tossup state. I mean Jesus, they never voted for Reagan, and barely even voted for Nixon in ’72. Plus the state Republican party got taken over by the religious right in the 90s, which just turned off even more moderates. MN is a safer Democrat state than most are willing to let on.


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