MinnPost poll: Ellison, Schultz tied weeks before Minnesota election for attorney general


Minnesota DFL Attorney-General Keith Ellison was tied with his Republican opponent Jim Schultz in a survey by Embold Research, which MinnPost commissioned. This is the latest evidence that there is a close race for the statewide office.

According to the poll, 47% of 1,585 likely voters would vote for Schultz while 47% would vote for Ellison. 5% of respondents were not sure who they would vote for. The margin of error was +/– 2.6 percentage points. Crosstabs are available here.

Attorney general poll results, October 2022
Q: Who would you vote for if the November election for Attorney-General were to be held today?

Notice: The margin of error for the model is +/-2.6 percentage point.
Source: MinnPost/Embold Research

A survey of Minnesotans was conducted between October 10 and 14th. It also revealed that Julie Blaha, DFL state auditor, was tied with Republican candidate Ryan Wilson.

DFL Secretary-of-State Steve Simon led Republican Kim Crockett by 7 percentage points, which was the largest lead among all candidates for executive offices in the survey. However, 10% of poll respondents were unsure who they would choose.

Results of the Secretary of State Poll, October 2022
Q: Who would you vote for if the November election for Secretary-of-State were to be held today?

Notice: The margin of error for the model is +/-2.6 percentage point.
Source: MinnPost/Embold Research

MinnPost published poll results for the governor’s race earlier Monday. The results showed DFL Gov. Tim Walz has a slight advantage over Republican Scott Jensen.

The GOP’s first win in a contest would be the victory of any of the candidates. This is after Republican Tim Pawlenty was elected as governor in 2006.

Schultz is still somewhat unknown

The October poll in the race to be attorney general is similar to the one MinnPost commissioned in June. It found Schultz was statistically tied with Ellison span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>. This was before Schultz beat Doug Wardlow in the GOP primary.

Since then, more people have decided to vote for the candidate they prefer.

Despite this, the poll showed some warning signs for Ellison who was elected to the post in 2018, after 12 years of service in the U.S. House, representing the 5th Congressional District. A majority of respondents, 45%, had a negative view of the incumbent. The poll revealed that 36% of respondents had a positive view of Ellison. This is roughly the same percentage as June’s voter attitudes towards Ellison.

Schultz still has some work to do in terms of name recognition. The October survey revealed that 39% of respondents had never heard of Schultz compared with 69% in June. In the October poll, about equal numbers of respondents knew who Schultz was. They were equally divided on whether they had a positive, negative or neutral opinion of Schultz.

Embold pollster Ben Greenfield stated that Ellison has the potential to improve because undecided voters surveyed are Democratic and plan on voting for Walz Simon, Blaha, and Simon by large margins.

“I think it’s good news that Ellison is getting a lot of undecided voters to vote for Democrats in the other elections,” Greenfield stated. He’s an incumbent and well-known in the state. It might prove difficult for him to win them over .”

In the seven-county Twin Cities metro, Ellison was ahead by 26 points. This excludes Minneapolis and St. Paul. The poll also found that Schultz was leading Ellison by 18 points in Greater Minnesota. Ellison had a margin of 32 percentage points in Minneapolis and St. Paul, however.

Ellison has gained ground in Minneapolis, St. Paul and elsewhere, while Schultz has won the suburbs. The poll showed Ellison leading the suburbs by 44 to 41 points in June. In the latest survey, Schultz was ahead by 60 to 34.

The sample size for the subregions is smaller than the statewide poll. This increases the margin of error. The margin of error in the October poll is +/-4 percentage points in both Twin Cities, +/-7 percentage points within the metro area that excludes Minneapolis and St. Paul, and +/-4 percentage points for Greater Minnesota.

The race for the AG has centered mainly around crime and abortion. These are two of the most important issues in midterm elections. Schultz stated that his top priority is “crime crime and crime.” Ellison began by saying that he will “protect your rights to safe, legal abortion span>

According to the poll, 43% of respondents consider Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court a priority when they vote in November. 42% considered violent crime a priority. A larger percentage of voters listed the rising cost of goods as a priority than other issues.

Survey respondents who supported Schultz were far more likely to say crime and inflation were a priority than abortion. Ellison supporters most often cited abortion and Roe’s overturning as their top priority.

Although likely voters in the AG race are more inclined to the DFL than Ellison voters, they listed violent crime higher as a priority than Ellison voters. They also ranked abortion higher than Schultz voters. The margin of error for this category is high, as it only includes a few likely voters in comparison to the overall survey.

Undecided voters tend to favor U.S. Amy Klobuchar, but are divided on Walz, Trump, and Jensen.

Simon leads Crockett in SOS

Minnesota’s election for secretary of state has attracted national attention and national cashspan styling=”font-weight 400 ;”>. Crockett is a candidate for secretary of state in Minnesota. He wants to limit early voting and limit absente ballots.

MinnPost polls found that Simon held a 48%-41% lead over the other candidates in each of the four statewide races. This was the largest lead among all candidates this year. Greenfield stated that it is unusual for a down-ballot candidate to have the largest lead of any candidate. Greenfield stated that the undecided voters lean more Republican than other contests. This means Crockett may gain ground, but is having trouble attracting GOP-friendly voters.

Simon is running for a third term. He was elected for the first time in 2014.

Republicans fare better in the race to be state auditor. This position primarily oversees local government spending and sits on state boards related to investments, economic development and pensions.

State auditor poll results, October 2022
Q: Who would you vote for if the November election for state auditor was held today?

Notice: The margin of error for the model is +/-2.6 percentage point.
Source: MinnPost/Embold Research

According to the poll, 40% of voters favored Blaha for first term and 40% voted for Wilson, an attorney who used to run a company that researched medical devices. Both have argued over the role and responsibilities of the auditor and whether or not to take into account issues such as climate change when investing in state pension funds.

Methodology note

The poll was taken between Oct. 10 and Oct. 14. It included 1,585 likely voters in general elections. The poll was conducted in collaboration with Embold Research, a nonpartisan arm of Change Research. Respondents are recruited via targeted ads on social media and websites. FiveThirtyEight rates Change Research as a B- Pollster.

Embold Research employs a “model” margin of error to account for the effects of weighting (or making adjustments in order to better reflect the state’s demographics). The results were weighted based on gender, age, race/ethnicity and region as well as the 2020 presidential vote.

This report was contributed by Greta Kaul, Associate Editor.

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