Green Room

Minnesota in Play?

posted at 1:05 pm on November 4, 2012 by

John Hinderaker has a good rundown of the AFF poll showing Minnesota a one-point race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the mid-40s range with just two days left in the race. He’s a little skeptical; I’m a lot skeptical, for a couple of reasons. First, there is the history of Minnesota, which speaks for itself: we’re the only state to never have voted for Ronald Reagan despite two landslide wins. AFF is a conservative group, which doesn’t make their poll wrong, but does make it less than independent. Finally, the marriage amendment on the ballot Tuesday has provided energy to the liberals in the core Twin Cities counties, which will probably drive up what had been flagging enthusiasm, and those votes are going to Obama as well as to opposing the marriage amendment.

However, John notes that Bill Clinton’s sudden investment in time and energy in our state speaks to Democratic nervousness about the state’s direction, so it’s not going to be a runaway, either. While that may not be enough to say that Minnesota will finally turn red, it’s a pretty good indicator that Wisconsin will be even closer than Democrats like, as our neighbor has been more Republican in national elections than we have been over the last three or four cycles. Keep an eye on Minnesota on Tuesday, but keep a closer eye on Wisconsin.

Update: A commenter reminds me that Wisconsin actually broke harder for Obama in 2008 than Minnesot did, but otherwise I was correct about the last few presidential cycles.

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I have Romney taking Minnesota 50 to 48. That’s with 80% of undecideds going to Romney. If I flip that then I have it 49 to 49. Minnesota is most definitely in play.

NotCoach on November 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

If Minnesota goes, so does the nation! HAHAHA!

MrX on November 4, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Wisconsin will be even closer than Democrats like, as our neighbor has been more Republican in national elections than we have been over the last three or four cycles.

Ed, Obama won Minnesota by roughly 10% and won Wisconsin by roughly 14%, so Wisconsin was not closer. Was definitely closer with Bush, but with Obama it was more blue.

JustinHiggins on November 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Finally, the marriage amendment on the ballot Tuesday has provided energy to the liberals in the core Twin Cities counties, which will probably drive up what had been flagging enthusiasm, and those votes are going to Obama as well as to opposing the marriage amendment.

Won’t it goose turnout among religious voters in the hinterlands, too? Seems to me that it’s a wash.

KingGold on November 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I am an election judge in Minnesota. I will be at the polls all day. My precinct is a safe republican one, with traditionally high turnout. I have no doubt it will be for Romney.

conservativegrandma on November 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Dont wanna get my hopes up too much, but heres hoping minnesota goes red!

Jack_Burton on November 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

we’re the only state to never have voted for Ronald Reagan despite two landslide wins

Well, there was a Minnesotan on the Democrat ticket during both Reagan contests. Romney will lose there because of voting fraud which the Republicans are too chicken to fix.

Buddahpundit on November 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Why wouldn’t they support their native son and not some Kenyan native’s son??? If they don’t, it says more about Wisconsin than it does Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan.

DanaSmiles on November 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I no longer know what to believe. Rasmussen has the popular vote now tied, after Romney was up by 2 or 3, but other polls are showing MN, MI, WI, and PA all tied … all Democrat states for decades.

Jaibones on November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Romney wins PA and WI or MI and this is a landslide.

Jaibones on November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

If Romney just wins 58% of Minnesota whites, he wins the state.

That’s far below the percentage of whites Romney is projected to win nationwide.

Romney wins MN.

Norwegian on November 4, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I no longer know what to believe. Rasmussen has the popular vote now tied, after Romney was up by 2 or 3, but other polls are showing MN, MI, WI, and PA all tied … all Democrat states for decades.

Jaibones on November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

They aren’t tied in reality. Skewed polls, people. This ain’t 2008. The world has moved on.

dogsoldier on November 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM

All is forgiven for Franken if Minnesota backs Mitt! Well, alright, we still can be a little aggravated… but forgiving too.

Sugar Land on November 4, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I no longer know what to believe. Rasmussen has the popular vote now tied, after Romney was up by 2 or 3, but other polls are showing MN, MI, WI, and PA all tied … all Democrat states for decades.

Jaibones on November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Rasmussen changed from a D+2 to D+4 weight this week.

So if Dems turn out in close to the same numbers as the height of Hopenchange euphoria in 2008, Romney and Obama are….tied.

Not gonna happen.

Norwegian on November 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I no longer know what to believe. Rasmussen has the popular vote now tied, after Romney was up by 2 or 3, but other polls are showing MN, MI, WI, and PA all tied … all Democrat states for decades.

Jaibones on November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

It’s called the writing on the wall.

I said it in 2008, Obama has alienated a good portion of his base. This was evident in 2010 and it’s gotten worse for Obama since. I don’t think the electorate will ever go back to what it was. Take Illinois. If it wasn’t for Chicago, that state would be solid red. And I believe it will eventually turn solid red in the future.

And if you’re wondering about Rasmussen, they changed their D/R/I split back to +4D. Why? Have you ever seen The Price is Right? Ever see those people that give a price $1 more than everyone else? That’s Rasmussen right now. Wants to be more right than everyone else, but doesn’t want to be too far off the pack. Pollsters’ claim to fame is who was “more right”. Not who was actually right. Problem is the pack is still going with 2008 party split. They ALWAYS ignore midterm party split. Rasmussen has decided to go with something in between. Not gonna happen. Party split will be R+1 or better.

MrX on November 4, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Rasmussen changed from a D+2 to D+4 weight this week.

So if Dems turn out in close to the same numbers as the height of Hopenchange euphoria in 2008, Romney and Obama are….tied.

Not gonna happen.

Norwegian on November 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Is that so? Ken Gardner said it’s 39/37/24, but plugging in the numbers with that split he gets 51-49 Romney. D+4 would explain the discrepancy, but where then did the 39/37/24 come from?

Gingotts on November 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Finally, the marriage amendment on the ballot Tuesday has provided energy to the liberals in the core Twin Cities counties, which will probably drive up what had been flagging enthusiasm, and those votes are going to Obama as well as to opposing the marriage amendment.

That cuts both ways, Ed. While many in the TC area (such as U of M types) are for redefining marriage I don’t believe it’s as popular outside of certain enclaves and most Minnesotans will vote to preserve marriage. In fact, I think the turnout for saving marriage will help to boost Romney’s numbers. I don’t know he will win Minnesota, but I expect the marriage amendment will win.

But Romney could manage it – MN has done stranger things: think the Rassler Guv. Gonna be an interesting night all around.

whatcat on November 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM

I think the massive clusterfunking that’s been the Democratic modus operandi is A) energizing voters to support the GOP and at the same time B) pulling numbers of traditionally Democratic voters away from Obama. Especially Union voters, Police & Firefighters.

Wisconsin’s Recall will be felt in Minnesota, too.

The GOP is going to take Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, N. Carolina, Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. I’m thinking Pennsylvania might eek out for Romney, but Michigan and Minnesota will stay blue, but it’ll be a lot closer than people think.

Nethicus on November 4, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Gingotts on November 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM

He changed from D+2 to D+3 on Friday, then to D+4 on Saturday.

Same with Pew, changed from D+1 to D+4.

None of these D+4 turnout models are remotely realistic.

Norwegian on November 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I have Romney taking Minnesota 50 to 48. That’s with 80% of undecideds going to Romney. If I flip that then I have it 49 to 49. Minnesota is most definitely in play.

NotCoach on November 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

With Romney up 1 point against Obama in MICHIGAN….

I mean if MICHIGAN votes ROMNEY…then MINNESOTA is definitely going for ROMNEY.

The Baydoun poll in Michigan showed nearly 5% voting third party.
This may be a factor if a miracle happens and Michigan turns GOP (which should be BLUE GOP….not RED DEM).

Anyhow, I don’t see how Minnesota votes OBAMA if MICHIGAN is for Romney since Michigan has the Auto-Bailout UAW.

Varchild on November 4, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Minnesota be nice and red:), I know you can.

c4 on November 4, 2012 at 3:12 PM

He changed from D+2 to D+3 on Friday, then to D+4 on Saturday.

Same with Pew, changed from D+1 to D+4.

None of these D+4 turnout models are remotely realistic.

Norwegian on November 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM

At best they’re showing Obama’s ceiling… If his GOTV is indeed awesome and he can somehow through getting out all of his base, including the dead, he can get a D+4 electorate, he can pull about even in the popular vote. Not a likely option though with all party ID trackers showing R+1 to R+3.

I’m inclined to agree with Mr. X here that Ras is hedging and trying to be just that little bit closer than the others. Also there’s the idea that there was a brief Sandy bounce and two good O days are about to fall off the tracker as Christie slobbering over him has fallen out of the news cycle in favor of “revenge” and freezing starving 90 year old NYers.

Gingotts on November 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Finally, the marriage amendment on the ballot Tuesday has provided energy to the liberals in the core Twin Cities counties, which will probably drive up what had been flagging enthusiasm, and those votes are going to Obama as well as to opposing the marriage amendment.

Yeah, I don’t understand this reasoning. The Number of people who strongly oppose redefining marriage easily outweigh those supporting it. While I don’t expect Washington, Maine or Delaware to go for Romney I am positive Obama’s margin of victory in those states will be smaller due to those turning out to vote against redefining marriage. That issue alone virtually won Bush 43 reelection in 2004. It may just give Romney Wisconsin.

Rocks on November 4, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Make that Minnesota.

Rocks on November 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Rocks on November 4, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Robert Costa at NRO has a different take from Ed’s:

The Maybe States

One measure would amend the state constitution to require photo identification for voting, and the other would constitutionally define marriage as between a man and a woman. Outside groups on both sides have poured in money. These referendums, more than Republican Kurt Bills’s underfunded challenge to Senator Amy Klobuchar, have Republicans enthused.

INC on November 4, 2012 at 4:29 PM

With regards to Romney being up 1 in Michigan, remember that Michigan also took part in the 2010 tsunami. Gov. Snyder easily won and republicans won good majorities in the state house and senate for the first time in a very long time. I don’t know how much of that will carry over to a presidential election, but MI being a blue state didn’t help democrats at all in 2010.

supernova on November 4, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Ed, when you said “I’m a lot skeptical, for a couple of reasons.” I thought they would be Jesse Ventura and Al Franken. ;-)

TheLoudTalker on November 4, 2012 at 5:07 PM

On a personal note, I grew up in Michigan, went to school in Minnesota, and now live in Oregon. I would not be surprised to see at least one, and probably two of these states turn red this year.

Sign of the Dollar on November 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Like many of the battlegrounds, I see MN as coming along for the ride if Mitt has a good day. I doubt he would MN if he didn’t also win WI, OH an IA, for example. But this race has the makings of a humungous landslide with MN, PA and MI all voting Mitt and pushing him over 330 EV’s. Heck, he could even win OR!

MJBrutus on November 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Finally, the marriage amendment on the ballot Tuesday has provided energy to the liberals in the core Twin Cities counties, which will probably drive up what had been flagging enthusiasm, and those votes are going to Obama as well as to opposing the marriage amendment.

If you were not headed to the polls to vote democrat for Obama or Klobachar but YOU ARE for the amrriahe amendment I would have to wonder how many people that is Ed. Not many I don’t agree that the marriage amendment helps liberals but it does make Christians squeamish about Obama that they have to vote to keep marriage.

Bottom line the Voter ID and Marriage help the Conservative candidates voter turnout. Otherwise in Minneapolis/St. Paul there isn’t even reason to vote (See Keith Ellison)

Evan as a political person I have to drag my self to hopeless causes and for others the Marriage Amendment is at least something I have a say in. Along with voter ID

Conan on November 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM

I don’t know how much of that will carry over to a presidential election, but MI being a blue state didn’t help democrats at all in 2010.

supernova on November 4, 2012 at 4:38 PM

It’s a rehearsal for the main show on Tuesday. The people are ready and fired up to vent their anger on the source of their displeasure.

They’ve punished Zero’s surrogates for over three years, now it’s Zero’s turn.

dogsoldier on November 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM

On the ground in the Lakes area of Mpls Sunday afternoon:

It’s very quiet around here – a complete reversal from 08, when the place was electric.

The VOTE NO signs are everywhere, but it’s almost like a “I have to put one up to fit in” thing.

Did not hear any political talk at the high-buck, mega liberal coffee shop this morning…

It’s like the who area has a flat affect – which is very weird.

Here’s hoping the gloomy weather holds on, and rain on Election Day would make it better…

Bruno Strozek on November 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Can this election get any weirder? There’s something weird going on in IL today. The Chicago Dems claimed that they were about to break the 2008 record for early/absentee voting in Chicago&Cook County this weekend and the IL Republicans are claiming that they’re skewing the numbers and voting is actually way down. So what is it?

stukinIL4now on November 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

INC on November 4, 2012 at 4:29 PM

The other thing to take into account are people who just do not have any faith in politicians, of either party, and so usually don’t vote. They do come out to vote on referendums though as they counts directly. These type of people skew heavily to the right.

Rocks on November 4, 2012 at 6:23 PM

stukinIL4now on November 4, 2012 at 6:19 PM

You answered your own question. You could have stopped listening after Cook County Dem.

Rocks on November 4, 2012 at 6:25 PM

He changed from D+2 to D+3 on Friday, then to D+4 on Saturday.

Same with Pew, changed from D+1 to D+4.

None of these D+4 turnout models are remotely realistic.

Norwegian on November 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Not what I heard, but the numbers I saw had independents at a pretty low rate. Are you hearing D+4 before Rass pushes Indies to pick a party?

WolvenOne on November 4, 2012 at 6:44 PM

On the ground in the Lakes area of Mpls Sunday afternoon:

It’s very quiet around here – a complete reversal from 08, when the place was electric.

The VOTE NO signs are everywhere, but it’s almost like a “I have to put one up to fit in” thing.

Did not hear any political talk at the high-buck, mega liberal coffee shop this morning…

It’s like the who area has a flat affect – which is very weird.

Here’s hoping the gloomy weather holds on, and rain on Election Day would make it better…

Bruno Strozek on November 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I live in the ‘burbs, where conservatives are much more common (Northern suburbs of Minneapolis). I’ve seen a handful of “Vote No” signs (for the marriage amendment), but a good number of signs supporting local conservative candidates. A couple of the radical liberals in my neighborhood have their usual candidate’s signs out, but a lot of Minnesotans just don’t care to put out all that many signs. I think it’s the non-emotional Scandinavian influence. :P Over all, I don’t see much energy on the lefty side of things here.

I’m confident the Voter ID law will pass. I give the marriage amendment about a 50-55% passage chance (get everyone out in support of it that you can!). Keep in mind that there is a rather large homosexual community downtown by the lakes. I’d expect tons of “Vote No” signs there.

I’m also hoping that we’ll hold at least the senate or the house. If we don’t, I expect Governor Dayton to tax the crap out of the “rich” (by which I mean the middle class).

Othniel on November 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I no longer know what to believe. Rasmussen has the popular vote now tied, after Romney was up by 2 or 3, but other polls are showing MN, MI, WI, and PA all tied … all Democrat states for decades.

Jaibones on November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

It must be noted that with a MOE of 3.5%, the national results of Romney +3 and a tie are statistically exactly the same. Both are within half the MOE range.

The secret effect on all the polls has been the marked tendency of conservatives and Tea Party supporters to refuse to comply. They are hardly alone, response rates having fallen from over 70% in the 1980s to 37% in 1997 and down to an average of only 9% this year (according to Pew). But if “our” people make up an outsized proportion of the refuseniks, as seems likely, any sample drawn from the remaining pool of potential subjects will necessarily be more Democratic than the actual electorate will be.

Adjoran on November 5, 2012 at 1:03 AM