Sen. Scott Dibble Rallies Opposition to the Anti-Family Amendment. Photo by A. Klemz
by Tony Petrangelo
Jun 6, 2012, 7:00 AM

New poll shows declines in support for both constitutional amendments

A new poll from Public Policy Polling has great news for opponents of both of the constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this November.

PPP (6/4, 1/22 in parenthesis):

Should the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?
Yes 43 (48)
No 49 (44)
Not sure 7 (8)
(MoE: ±3.1%)

This is pretty excellent news, a 5 point increase in opposition to the amendment with a five point drop in support for it.

Tom Jensen explains the reason why:

The shift since then has come with independent voters. After previously supporting the amendment by a 50/40 spread, they’re now opposing it 54/37. Republicans continue to strongly favor the amendment (74/21) while Democrats are almost equally strong in their opposition (71/22).

These results are very close to the results of a question in a SurveyUSA poll almost a month ago. That poll found that 53% of Minnesotans agreed with President Obama that same sex couples should be able to get married, against 42% who disagreed.

While it may not be right to attribute the dramatic shift in this new PPP poll entirely to President Obama’s recent coming out on this issue, so to speak, you have to think it has something to do with it.

The trend lines are more than four months old though, so what we could be seeing is a gradual erosion of support as people in the state become better informed about the amendment. Either way, it’s excellent news for the good guys.

The Voter ID amendment has also seen a rather large shift in support, although we don’t have trend lines from PPP on this question, most other pollsters who have asked about it in Minnesota in the past have consistently found support for the idea in the 70% range.

PPP (6/4, no trend lines):

Should the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters?

Yes 58
No 34
Not sure 8
(MoE: ±3.1%)

I know it’s hard to get excited when you’re losing 58%-34%, but that’s a much better position to be in than being down 70%-23%.

The problem of course is that there is still a substantial portion of Democrats (36%) who support the measure. That’s much better than when SurveyUSA polled this question before the amendment was actually approved, they found that more Democrats supported the amendment than opposed it.

At the DFL convention over the weekend the party approved putting both of the amendments on their sample ballot recommending that people vote no on both. I suppose that may help some, but there still remains a large voter education task ahead on this issue.

On to the approvals!

PPP (6/4, 1/22 in parenthesis):

Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Mark Dayton’s job performance?
Approve 49 (53)
Disapprove 36 (34)
Not sure 15 (13)
(MoE: ±3.1%)

Mark Dayton has taken a little bit of a hit on his approval rating, down 6 points overall, likely fallout from the Vikings stadium deal. But he’s still at a very decent +13. Much better shape than the following two groups:

PPP (6/4, 1/22 in parenthesis):

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the DFL members of the legislature are doing?
Approve 31 (31)
Disapprove 46 (49)
Not sure 24 (20)

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the Republican members of the legislature are doing?
Approve 21 (23)
Disapprove 61 (62)
Not sure 19 (16)
(MoE: ±3.1%)

Not much movement here, the DFL is doing a little better than previously and the GOP is doing a little worse, but they are both way under water, the DFL at -15 and the GOP at -40(!).

The combination of an unpopular DFL legislature and a terrible, rotten, no good GOP legislature leads to this:

PPP (6/4, 1/22 in parenthesis):

If there was an election for the legislature today, do you think you would vote for the DFL or Republican candidate from your district?
DFL candidate 48 (48)
Republican candidate 36 (39)
Not sure 16 (14)
(MoE: ±3.1%)

The DFL is holding steady at almost 50%, while the GOP has gone backwards 3 points, leading to a 12 point generic ballot edge for the DFL. If these numbers hold until election day there is no doubt that the DFL will retake both chambers of the legislature.

That’s a pretty big if though.

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