When KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll came out showing Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) leading Dr Scott Jensen (R-MN) by 18-points it created quite a stir, because the race appeared insurmountable. Other polls are now showing the race a bit closer, but still an unlikely mountain for Jensen to climb.
This usual question over the veracity of polls, has become a constant question due to the nature of how the people are reached and the questions asked. We have always criticized the way respondents are identified. Back in the days of the Star Tribune Poll, Rob Daves always defended the people who participated in their poll, even if they were not known as historical voters. Because as he argued, Minnesota has same-day registration everyone of legal voting age, a resident of the state, and not a convicted felon was an eligible voter and hence a worth poll respondent.
In the age of the cell phone, the ability to get a person to answer their phone, from an unknown number is hard, and then getting them to answer a series of questions even more so. The integrity of this system is a constant challenge and as we see there are even online polls where people can self-select, which is what actually happens when people decide to answer the poll the first place, in spite of being randomly contacted.
As we like to remind people the only important poll is the results on election day, and the use of polls is merely for an election story. Campaign tracking polls, which are only released when they are favorable to the campaign are strongly biased and their line of questions intended to gain further insight into how to get more voters to support the respective candidate.
The fight over which poll to believe is a constant battle, and the weighting of party preference one of the first measurements used to either affirm or negate the poll results.
Again, we will argue our Checks & Balances Statewide Political Matrix: of the base-vote being DFL 43%, Republicans 37% with 20% unaffiliated or third-party.
This 6% buffer for DFL statewide candidates is baked in and is the first hurdle a Republican must tackle. The ability for Republicans to close the gap has proven elusive and when an election occurs the 20% bloc tends tot cut in a similar fashion to the party blocs. Meaning, the DFL picks up 8-9% which means they carry the state with a 52% margin or better, unless there is a viable third-party candidate, then the DFL voting bloc still carries.
The following three election contest from 2018, show a clear reflection of our assumptions and the two other Constitutional Elections show similar results except, due to a stronger showing by the third-party candidates a lower performance by the DFL candidate is reflected.
In the other Constitutional races, the third-party effect was most present in the State Auditor race where candidate Julie Blaha (DFL-MN) did carry with the 6% buffer, but Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) only had a 4% margin over his opponent.
These two races are the reason the Grassroots Cannabis and Legal Marijuana Now Party’s both received major party status.
2018 US Senate Special Election
2018 Governor Election
|Democratic-Farmer-Labor||Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan||1,393,096||53.84%|
|Republican||Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom||1,097,705||42.43%|
2018 Secretary of State Election
2018 State Auditor Election
|Legal Marijuana Now||Michael Ford||133,913||5.28%|
2018 Attorney General Election
|Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis||Noah M. Johnson||145,748||5.71%|