The DFL race for Governor is being tactically affected by the deployment of an internal poll which simultaneously serves two different campaigns, Walz and Swanson. The data of which we speak is a poll conducted June 25-27, 2018 of 602 Likely Primary Voters by the Independent Expenditure supporting Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN01) called Minnesota Victory PAC. Here is a link to the poll https://www.scribd.com/document/383335039/Mvp-Top-Lines-062818 In this document you will find a number of comprehensive questions, which provide some information that provides a shape and feel of this race.
Remember Walz’ has the support of Inter Faculty Organization, International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 49, LiUNA! – Laborers International Union of North America – Minnesota & North Dakota, SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 – Minnesota, North Dakota & South Dakota, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Minnesota State Council of Machinists, Teamsters Joint Council 32, IBEW Minnesota State Council, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), United Steelworkers District 11, Minnesota Pipe Trades, Ironworkers Local 512, IUPAT – District Council 82 and Education Minnesota. While DFL endorsed candidate Rep Erin Murphy (DFL-64A, St Paul) has Minnesota Nurses Association, SEIU Minnesota State Council, AFSCME Council 5, TakeAction Minnesota, Women Winning, OutFront Minnesota, EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.
The impression the poll makes is Attorney General Lori Swanson (D-MN) has higher name recognition than either Walz or Murphy. This is most likely because the poll is taken of likely voters, and Swanson has been a candidate office in the last three statewide elections. Because this is a poll supporting Walz most of the question lines are intended to improve the participant’s impression of Walz inform the person more about him as a candidate and assist in the clarification and differentiation of him from the field.
On Sunday, on WCCO Esme Murphy, who had clearly seen the poll, asked candidate Murphy a series of questions related to the information provided. https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/3895735-rep-erin-murphy-talks-campaign/ Murphy was quick to discount to information and say she has been underestimated frequently in this and other political contests. Murphy also broached the issue of campaign money, pointing out the last campaign finance information showing her campaign trailing Walz’ significantly. Candidate Murphy’s response was to say wait for the next report. It is worth noting again, because of her late entry in the race Swanson’s next report will be her first, but she is not known for her fundraising prowess.
As we do look to the next report we will be looking for the resources which help bolster Murphy’s campaign and will look to the amounts and the sources. We expect the institutional support for Murphy will be evident from the various endorsing organizations and other people who support the DFL candidates. The question is does an Independent Expenditure like the one for Walz exist and if so how much television and radio ads will be on the air in the last four weeks of the campaign?
We know Walz’ supporters have already bought their spots for the last four weeks.
One significant factor this and other polls may have as we get closer to the August 14th Primary Election date is, people may be willing to change their vote and hedge their bet against former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), which is one of the rationales for the release of this poll. Voters who have voted early are able to change their vote by submitting another absentee ballot up to one week prior to the election. If the Name Identification numbers and the campaign finance numbers for Murphy trail Walz or Swanson then the logical conclusion is to jump ship and pick a winner.
Politics may be partially based on expectations, but most often reality weighs in and pipedreams are left to the sages.