We have said time-after-time this election will be largely based on support/opposition to Donald J Trump and this will be most evident in the Attorney General’s race. We are hearing reports from homes of traditional DFLers that women are having problems voting for Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN05) because of the allegations of abuse. This issue has seen some attention in the KSTP/Survey USA Poll but the resulting a 41%/41% virtual tie between Ellison and former House Member Doug Wardlow (R-MN) with 14% Undecided. Correspondingly, the MPR News and Star Tribune Minnesota Poll also show Ellison at 41%, Wardlow 36% and 18% Undecided.
We are expecting there will be fall off in this race, which will be evident when the number of the following races for Secretary of State and State Auditor are tabulated. We think this race will come down to Party Tribalism. The hard and fast partisans will stick with there party’s nominee and others who don’t vote will just reduce the overall total.
We compare the Ellison race with Al Franken’s first election. The race resulting in a recount occurred because Franken had alienated suburban women with his satirical writing in Playboy magazine which talked about raping Attorney General Janet Reno and became political fodder for the US Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) Campaign.
The Big Unasked Questions
The Big Unasked Question is actually more than one, but interrelated. The question that should be asked of each side is related to Donald J Trump. “Do you feel the allegations against Keith Ellison make him unfit for office?” And in turn, “Do you feel the allegations again Donald Trump make him unfit for office?” Finally, “Do you feel the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh make him unfit for office?”
These questions then need to be broken out by party identification and we believe we will likely see the existence of political party tribalism because Democrats will largely side with Ellison because he’s our guy and Republicans will largely side with Trump and Kavanaugh because they’re our guys. The real question is where the Independents come down and that will be an insightful piece of information.