The latest poll numbers must be scaring the DFL; the Strib has officially switched into full-time shill mode.
In a paper full of “reporters” whose prime directive seems to be “fawn on the DFL”, Ricardo Lopez seems to be aiming for Columnist’s Row with yesterday’s paeon to the wonders of the Minnesota economy:
With business on the upswing and a state unemployment rate that’s among the lowest in the nation, Republicans lack a key issue voters often gravitate to during election season.
Four years ago, when the unemployment rate topped 7 percent and the state faced a projected $6.2 billion deficit, then-gubernatorial candidates Republican Tom Emmer and DFLer Mark Dayton presented voters with starkly different plans to stem the hemorrhaging of jobs and balance the state budget.
Since Dayton took office, the economic picture has brightened considerably. Minnesota employers have added more than 150,000 jobs, helping the state recover all the jobs lost during the recession. The real estate market has rebounded, and state finances are also strong. The most recent report available showed a projected state budget surplus of more than $1.2 billion, generated in part by the higher tax rates Dayton pushed through in 2013.
“There’s no question it would be easier for me as a challenger if everything appeared to be in shambles, that’s clear. But it’s not.” said Jeff Johnson, the Republican nominee hoping to unseat Dayton this fall. “I actually rise to that challenge of sharing a message that aspires to something much better than we have right now.”
Except that as we’ve pointed out, the economy is only “good” when you cherrypick the numbers pretty carefully.
- State Revenues are falling shorter and shorter of forecasts every month. The deficit – which the GOP Legislature, not Governor Dayton, erased – is going to be back by the end of the current budget cycle.
- Underworked: While the state unemployment rate looks good at 4.5%, the share of working Minnesotans that are underemployed is shockingly high – well behind not only both Dakotas, but Iowa as well – and wage growth has stalled (while government spending has not).
But it’s the cherrypicking, not checking and balancing, that the people of Minnesota are going to get from the media.
Expect a “Minnesota Poll” showing Dayton 80 points ahead sometime soon, here.