has a negative outlook for suburban voters.
Gov. Tim Walz campaigned with a “One Minnesota” theme. However, when it comes to voter attitudes there could be three Minnesotas.
MinnPost/Embold Research conducted a new poll in October of 1,585 likely voters. It found that there was an improvement in mood in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This is in contrast to the June poll which showed a worse outlook.
These divisions could not be explained by geography. For example, there are significant gaps in voter preferences along gender and education lines. However, the opinions of likely voters in each region are different.
The majority of Twin Cities residents are happy with the state’s direction and support elected DFL politicians such as Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison. A majority of voters will be voting on abortion and the repealing Roe v. Wade.
However, those living in Greater Minnesota and the suburbs of the metro are more likely than others to feel pinch by gas and grocery costs. They also cite illegal immigration in their future vote. Many also have negative views of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Suburbs moving away from DFL ?
MinnPost/Embold Research polled likely voters in three geographic categories: Minneapolis–St. Paul and the seven-county metro areas excluding the Twin Cities. Crosstabs are available here.
Because of the smaller sample sizes, these subregions have larger margins of error. The October poll margin of error was +/- 2.5 percentage points across the state. The margin of error in Minnesota is +/-4 percentage points in Twin Cities, +/-7 percentage points for the metro area that excludes Minneapolis and St. Paul, and +/-4 percentage points for Greater Minnesota.
Although the results may not be as exact, the data still provides a glimpse into voter preferences and moods
The most significant shift in attitudes could have occurred in the suburbs of the metro. More people in the October survey felt that the country and state are on the wrong track. Views on several Democrats including Ellison and Walz plummeted in June’s poll of likely voters.
Walz received a +2 rating in the June poll for job approval. That dropped to -22 in the October poll. Ellison was also seen unfavorably by more people, up from 45% in June and 58% in October.
Even though the Democrats received a poor rating and the country had a grim outlook, metro suburb residents were surveyed and reported a positive, albeit still very negative, economic picture. In October, 68% of respondents said that their income was falling below the cost of living. This was down from 77% in June. 52% also said that gas prices are difficult for them in October. This is down 61% from June.
The high margin of error in suburbs of +/-7 percent could explain the large swing. This is the smallest of the three main regions included in the poll.
Embold’s Ben Greenfield managed the poll. “The metro area sample looked a bit more Republican this time.” This has an effect on the answers we saw for all the questions .”
The change in attitudes could be partly responsible. Greenfield stated that it could be because the suburbs (metro) Republicans have become more concerned about the situation and are more likely to complete a survey than last time. The Twin Cities sample was also more left-leaning that the previous poll. )
Metro suburban residents had a much more negative view about Walz’s job performance and his rating for crime, which remained at -34 approval.
By 33 points, suburban voters said that they are more concerned about inflation than the loss of abortion rights. The top two priorities for their next vote were the rising cost of goods, and violent crime.
Inflation and crime were the main campaign themes of the GOP’s year.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Outlook improved
The likely voters in Minneapolis and St. Paul seem happier than those across the state, according to the survey. They have a sunnier outlook than Twin Cities voters polled in June.
In June, for example, 47% of Twin Cities residents who are DFL-friendly said Minnesota was heading in the right direction, while 23% said the country is on the right track. Both have increased. In October, 60% of respondents said that Minnesota was on the right path and 37% said that the United States is on the correct track.
The Twin Cities’ October respondents were also more happy with Walz than Biden. After being up 55-28 in June, Jensen was now 63-26. The governor won Minneapolis and St. Paul over Scott Jensen, his Republican opponent. In the October survey, 61% of Twin Cities residents viewed Walz favorably. 53% had a positive view of Walz in June.
Biden’s jump is also significant. The jump is also significant for Biden. In October, 56% of Minneapolis and St. Paul had a positive view of the president. Biden’s net favorable rating was +21, as compared to his June overall favorability rating which was neutral.
This could be a sign of an improving economy. There were fewer Twin Cities residents who said their income was lower than in June. In addition, fewer people stated that gas prices are difficult or annoying. The sentiments about the cost of groceries were similar.
Minneapolis-St. Paul residents had a less favorable view of Jensen in October and Republican attorney general candidate Jim Schultz. The overturning Roe v. Wade could partly explain the gains in these cities by Ellison Ellison and Walz.
A narrow margin of voters in the Twin Cities feared that abortion rights would be taken away, compared to rising living costs and inflation.
Ellison and Schultz were tied in the poll, while Walz had a slight lead.
Greater Minnesota continues to see negative views
The mood among likely voters in Greater Minnesota was virtually unchanged since the June survey.
36% of respondents said that the state was on a right track, while 19% stated that the country is on the right path. On October 3,7% of Minnesotans said that Minnesota is on the right track, compared with 23% for the country.
Most likely voters share the same views on Walz, Biden, and Ellison — negative and positive — as they do about Jensen. They also reported similar economic attitudes. In June, 79% of respondents said that their income was falling below the cost for living. That number jumped to 80 %.
Although 57% of respondents now believe that gas prices are very difficult, this is slightly lower than June. However, groceries are still difficult for 56% respondents in Greater Minnesota. This is the same as June.
Issues to unite the state
The survey found that most likely voters were not split on all issues. Although they did not agree on all issues, they did agree on a few. Although Greater Minnesota and its suburbs had more people saying their income was falling behind the cost to live, the majority of residents across the state agreed that their income wasn’t keeping up. Similar results were seen in the pinch of grocery costs.
All regions of the state supported access to abortion in cases of rape and incest, as well as saving the life of a mother. A majority of respondents in all regions agreed that Minneapolis should allow the sale of edibles made from marijuana and hemp. Gun laws should be stricter than the majority of Twin Cities residents. However, gun laws were not less strict than those voted for by voters throughout the state.
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 “modeled” margin to error. This allows for the effects of weighting or making adjustments to better reflect state demographics. The results were weighted based on gender, age, race/ethnicity and region as well as the 2020 presidential vote.
The margins for error in the June poll were +/– 4.6% in the Twin Cities, +/– 5.4% in the metro, and +/– 3.5% in Greater Minnesota.