Chanting Points Memo: “Minnesota Poll” Has Your Delivery Of Sandbags Right Here

Yesterday, the Star Tribune “Minnesota Poll” also delivered its mid-cycle tally of support for the Voter ID Amendment.

And coming barely a week after the generally-accurate Survey USA poll showing Voter ID passing by a 2:1 margin, the Strib would have you believe…:

Slightly more than half of likely voters polled — 52 percent — want the changes built around a photo ID requirement, while 44 percent oppose them and 4 percent are undecided.

That is a far cry from the 80 percent support for photo ID in a May 2011 Minnesota Poll, when the issue was debated as a change in state law. Support among Democrats has cratered during a year marked by court battles, all-night legislative debates and charges that the GOP is attempting to suppress Democratic votes.

Republicans and independents continue to strongly back the proposal, which passed the Legislature this year without a single DFL vote.

Wow.  Sounds close!

Sort of; if you accept the validity of the numbers (and unless the DFL is headed for a blowout win, you must never accept the validity of the “Minnesota Poll’s” numbers), and every single undecided voter today voted “no”, the measure would pass in a squeaker.

But are the numbers valid?    And by “valid”, I don’t mean “did they do the math right”, I mean “did they poll a representative sample of Minnesotans?”

To find that out, you have to do something that almost nobody in the Strib’s reading audience does; look at the partisan breakdown of the survey’s respondents.  Which is in a link buried in the middle of a sidebar, between the main article and the cloud of ads and clutter to the right of the page, far-removed from the headline and the lede graf.  Which takes you to a page that notes (with emphasis added):

• The self-identified party affiliation of the random sample is: 41 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican and 31 percent independent or other.

That’s right – as with the Marriage Amendment numbers we looked at this morning (it’s the same survey), the Strib wants you to believe…

…well, no.  I’m not sure they “want” anyone to believe anything.  I’m sure they want people to read the headling and the “almost tied!” lede, and not dig too far into the numbers.

It’s part of the Democrat’s “Low-Information Voters” campaign; focus on voters who don’t dig for facts, who accept what the media tells them, who vote based on the last chanting point they heard.

Fearless prediction:  On November 4, the Strib will release a “Minnesota Poll” that shows the Voter ID Amendment slightly behind, using a partisan breakdown with an absurdly high number of DFLers.   It’ll be done as a sort of positive bandwagon effect – to make DFLers feel there’s a point to come out and vote against the Voter ID Amendment (and for Obama, Klobuchar, and the rest of the DFL slate, natch).

And it will be a complete lie.  Voter ID will pass by 20 points, and this cycle of polling will disappear down the media memory hole like all the rest of them.

Question:  Given that its entire purpose seems to be to build DFL bandwagons and discourage conservative voters, when do we start calling the “Minnesota Poll” what it seems to be – a form of vote suppression?

So Simple A DFLer Could Figure It Out

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes in re Al Sharpton’s Strib op-ed:

Civil Rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton writes in the Star Tribune to oppose Voter ID because 1 in 4 Blacks, 1 in 5 elderly and 1 in 6 Hispanics don’t have the proper credentials and apparently can’t get them.

Oddly, others can.

The Ramsey County Elections office is next door to the Property Records room where deeds are stored and I spend a fair amount of time working with real estate. I have seen an endless parade of Asian voters the past two weeks. They’re showing up by the van-load. They have guides who speak English directing them to the right office. Older folks are assisted by younger ones. They’re showing up to register and to vote absentee for the primary.

I’ve also seen a few Black immigrants, Somalis or Ethiopians from the way they dress and talk. No “American” Blacks, though. None of the people whose pants are stitched to their underwear, whose caps are on sideways, who have time in the afternoon to prowl the streets looking for 14-year-old girls in Frogtown and who learned to talk from rap videos. Those people can’t seem to make it to the Voter Registration Office.

Plainly, this is not a cultural thing. It’s not a matter of White and Asian people being conscientious and law-abiding while recent illegal immigrant Hispanics (and Blacks whose families have lived in this country for generations) are neither conscientious nor law-abiding.

Plainly, it’s just racissss. And that’s a crying shame.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

And I’ll add that it’s not even a matter of Afro-Americans and Latinos not being conscientious or law-abiding so much as it is the DFL, Sharpton, and their camp-followers in the Media wanting you to believe it; to believe that Black, Latino, elderly and young voters are just too stupid to handle bringing an ID to the polls.

We know better.  Right?

Polling shows that a fairly decisive majority of Minnesotans agree, and support Voter ID.  The left’s response – other than chanting “Disenfranchisement” and “Racism” – is to claim that the process of getting a free ID is juuuust toooo complicated for voters.  And since their strategy does seem to involve trying to win over “low-information” voters – people they can gull into thinking Mitt Romney is a felon who hasn’t filed taxes, that Bain killed a woman, that they’re out of work in 2012 because of what George W. Bush did (or really didn’t) do in 2007), that would be a concern.

As Joe points out, many groups – groups that actually take democracy seriously – are making the logical connection; they’re getting their people registered.    Expect not a few legitimate groups across the political spectrum to extend their ‘Get out the Vote” efforts to getting voters registered as well.

Clearly, for the DFL, it’s easier to manufacture bogus votes than to get their low-information rank-and-file to vote legitimately.

Chanting Points Memo: Nothing Here But Us Extremists

I was out of town last week during Governor Dayton’s frankly weird performance, referring to supporters of the “Right To Work” amendment as “Extreme”.

More on that – it ties in closely with my piece on the DFL’s new PR effort to flood the state with unsupportable memes on wedge issues designed to fool the uninformed and gullible – later this week.

It’s just interesting to note how many “extremists” there are out there, according this SurveyUSA poll covering Minnesotans’ attitudes on the Gay Marriage, Right To Work and Voter ID amendments seem to show that a majority of Minnesotans are, by Governor Dayton’s self-indulgent standard, “Extremists”.

Let’s go through the numbers one issue at a time:

Marriage Amendment

This is the weakest of the bunch so far; it’s winning by 47-39, and over the top in most of the cross tabs (other than 18-34 year olds, cell phone users, Democrats, Liberals and people making over $80K a year).

This is in line – and maybe a little better – than the results I found in the fall of 2010, when a Lawrence Poll showed that Minnesotans’ preferences swung strongly to Tom Emmer when they were clear that Emmer supported referenda or legislative rulings on the issue, while Dayton and Horner both supported legislating the issue from the bench.

The problem is that these numbers aren’t nearly good enough to pass the bill, given one quirk in Minnesota’s law when voting on constitutional amendments; blank votes are counted as “no” votes.  Everyone who supports an amendment must vote affirmatively “yes”.

So let’s assume the numbers in this poll’s “Not Sures” – 4% overall – break evenly between Yes and No on election day, bringing the actual results to 49-41 in favor; then “Not Votes” stay on the sidelines, becoming “No” votes, making the final vote a bare 51-49 against.  That’s not counting “Ritchie Votes”: the dead, people being vouched into multiple districts, people who aren’t legally entitled to vote, and the like.

Even without that, the measure loses by default. By this count, the Marriage Amendment needs to arf up at least three more points – five as insurance against “Ritchie Votes”.

With a state this polarized, it’s a tall order.

Right To Work

Minnesota is much less polarized here – and it shows.  Governor Dayton’s memes on the subject have been more fact-free and desperate than usual – “right to work states have lower wages!”, he declared, ignoring the other context (closed shop states tend to be more urban, coastal and have much higher costs of living as well as wages) – showing how hard the DFL is going to have to dig for votes on this issue.

“Right To Work” leads 55-24% overall.  It leads in every single cross tab – the narrowest is 35-32 among identified liberals.  Bad news for the DFL – it leads among women even more than among men; more among the young than the old;

More importantly?   Even if you take the 12% “not sure” vote and split it evenly among “Yes”, “No” and “Not Voting” , the numbers become 59-28-13, which really means 59-41 (remember, blank votes become “No”, as noted above).  Even if every undecided voter decides to side with the unions – in other words, the hopelessly unrealistic breaks, things about as likely as me getting a third date with Amy Adams – or just sit the issue out, the issue ends up at 55-45.

It’ll take a lot of “Ritchie Votes” to beat “the extremists” on this issue.

Photo ID

Perhaps the best news of the poll is that the left’s idiot memes about Voter ID – “it disenfranchises the poor, the elderly and college students – are falling not so much on deaf ears, but ears that mock their idiocy.

During the 2010 campaign, the meme of the right was that Voter ID had 2-1 support in Minnesota.  The SUSA poll shows it’s actually 3-1 with a bullet; the measure currently leads 70-23.

The cross tabs?  Again – the measure is more popular among women than men (73% of women favor it, vs. 66% of men); more among younger voters, with a 77-20 lead among 35-49 year old voters); more among the educated (71-24 among college grads ys 63-23 among high school grads); about evenly across all income bands; even by 69-24 in the Twin Cities.

Most significantly?  Only 4% of Minnesotans are undecided on the subject, and 4% more claimed they’ll “not vote” on the issue.  Even if every single undecided voter is convinced to vote against the issue or sit it out, the measure passes 70-31%.

Even Mark Ritchie will have a hard time rigging this one.


Caveat up front; the conclusions below presume the SUSA poll is accurate.  The poll is of registered voters, rather than likely voters, which is inherently less accurate on the one hand, but traditionally skews things to the left on the other hand; for purposes of the conclusions below, I’ll presume those two factors roughly cancel each other out.

GOP legislative candidates need to closely align themselves with the Right To Work and Photo ID issues.  They need to hammer on their support for Right to Work and Voter ID, and the positive things that both bring to this state – more jobs, and an election system with actual integrity (although Voter ID is only one of many reforms needed).

The Marriage Amendment strikes me as a loser for GOP candidates – not because it’s off the ideological beam (although as a libertarian conservative, I’m less enthusiastic about it than some Republicans), but because presuming that this poll is accurate, candidates will spend more time and effort supporting the amendment than being supported by it.  By tying themselves to amendments that seem likely to pass overwhelmingly and which show the deep wedge between the DFL and the GOP, on issues where the DFL is both wrong and diametrically opposed to a crushing majority of Minnesotans, the GOP wins free votes; the Marriage Amendment will cost time and effort to prop up at the polls.  Not to say the votes can’t be found, but it’s going to take a lot of time and effort – which is the job of the various pro-marriage groups, not candidates.

The other takeaway, in light of the Governor’s prate and gabble on the subject(s)?  In every case, with all three of these amendments, the conservative, “extreme” position is the mainstream.

But we knew that.

See more on the subject from Ed Morrissey.