The poll was as drearily predictable as the annual stadium extortion-fest; notwithstanding last November’s electoral GOP legislative sweep, yet another Star/Tribune “Minnesota Poll” shows that the public is, mirabile dictu, entirely on board with the DFL agenda:
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they favor a blend of higher taxes and service reductions to tackle the state’s $5 billion projected deficit. Just 27 percent said they want state leaders to balance the budget solely through cuts.
The poll comes [with utter predictability - Ed.] as the Republican-led Legislature and the DFL governor head into the final week of a legislative session still dug in on their vastly different approaches to balancing the budget.
Dayton said the results show the public backs his position. Republicans said the results run counter to last fall’s election and what they are hearing from Minnesotans.
Predictable? Absolutely. Whether through editorial perfidy or lazy methodology, the Strib/”Minnesota” Poll has a long history of releasing “news” the DFL needs, exactly when it needs it. Especially when the issue is especially close-fought; the harder-fought the issue, the more absurdly lopsided the Strib poll, like the “Humphrey Institute” Poll run for many years by the U of M and MPR polls, seem to be. Right when the DFL needs it.
My theory; the DFL knows full well how the “bandwagon effect” in polling works for manipulating public perception; the Strib serves the DFL, wittingly or not.
And, sure enough, the poll’s methodology was as predictable as the Strib’s smug headline; emphasis is added by me:
Today’s Star Tribune Minnesota Poll findings are based on 565 landline and 241 cellphone interviews conducted May 2-5 with a representative sample of Minnesota adults. Interviews were conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
Results of a poll based on 806 interviews will vary by no more than 4.7 percentage points, plus or minus, from the overall population 95 times out of 100.
The self-identified party affiliation of the random sample is 33 percent Democrat, 23 percent Republican and 37 percent independent. The remaining 7 percent said they were members of another party, no party or declined to answer.
Results for the question about the best approach to solving the budget deficit — primarily through service reductions or through a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts — are based on interviews with 548 of the 806 respondents. The question was reasked in follow-up calls to all respondents because of a problem in the original wording of the question, and 548 of the respondents were reached. Results of a poll based on 548 interviews will vary by no more than 5.7 percentage points, plus or minus, from the overall population 95 times out of 100.
In other words, a group which self-reports its political leaning, whose geographical weighting and mix are unknown (remember the Humphrey Institute’s overweighting of Minneapolis respondents? Which they didn’t bother to report until after the election, even though their actual poll, which indicated a 12 point blowout for Mark Dayton, went out on schedule, right before the election?), and where the “independents” are given no known context, and which gives the DFL a completely unearned 50% head start, shows the public solidly behind Mark Dayton.
Just like it needed to.
I doubt the Twin Cities media will ever admit that the “Minnesota Poll” and the “Humphrey Institute” polls are, intentionally or not, pro-DFL propaganda. But it’s gotten to the point where the evidence doesn’t support any other conclusion.