Minnesota State Capitol
by Tony Petrangelo
May 25, 2013, 10:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 5-25

♣ Almost immediately after announcing his support for the now passed into law Marriage equality bill, Joe Radinovich, a DFL Representative from Crosby, faced the threat of a recall. Earlier this week Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lori Gildea ruled, “not so much.”

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lori Gildea has ruled that Reps. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, and John Ward, DFL-Baxter, will not be subject to recall elections, rejecting the efforts of a local Republican activist who had claimed that the legislators should face removal from office.

Both recall initiatives originated with Doug Kern, a Crow Wing County Republican activist who argued that Radinovich and Ward should face recalls for having voted against the will of their neighboring districts, where a majority of voters supported the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

I’m glad Minnesota is a state that has sane recall laws and doesn’t just let people gather signatures for a recall election because they don’t like the way someone voted. If you don’t like the way a person votes, there is a remedy for that already built into the system… it’s called the next election.

♣ The Minneapolis City Council made some changes to the city’s Ranked Choice Voting system:

One change to the elections ordinance clarifies how votes will be counted if a voter makes an error in the ranking of choices.

Another allows for reporting winners on Election Night if those candidates reach a vote threshold that makes it mathematically impossible for another person to win.

A third change would require write-in candidates to register with the Elections Office if they want their votes tallied under their name.

There was talk of expanding the number of choices that a person can rank, from the current three, up to six. But that change was not made.

Betsy Hodges got the endorsement of SEIU in her quest to become the next Minneapolis Mayor.

♣ The rest of The Wrap will concern a couple of polls. The first one I’ve already covered aspects of in “Al Franken holds steady” and “Mark Dayton slides.” Those two posts discussed, not surprisingly, the parts of the poll that concerned Senator Al Franken and Governor Mark Dayton, both of whom are up for re-election next year.

What that poll also contained were questions that PPP asked about issues which the legislature just recently dealt with, or didn’t deal with, as the case may be. Also, PPP asked about the legislature itself.

PPP (5/23, no trend lines):

Do you support or oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota this week?
Support 49
Oppose 45
Not sure 5

Do you support or oppose paying back the school shift as soon as possible?
Support 50
Oppose 13
Not sure 38

Which do you think is more important: paying back the school shift as soon as possible or not raising taxes?
Paying back the school shift ASAP 43
Not raising taxes 44
Not sure 13

Do you support or oppose allowing in-home child care providers to unionize?
Support 31
Oppose 50
Not sure 19

Would you support or oppose raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour?
Support 54
Oppose 37
Not sure 10

Do you support or oppose using money from the cigarette tax to pay for the new Vikings Stadium?
Support 35
Oppose 53
Not sure 12

Do you think Sunday liquor sales should be allowed in Minnesota, or not?
Think it should be allowed 62
Don’t think it should 31
Not sure 7
(MoE: ±3.7%)

I don’t know that any of these results are surprising.

The biggest issue on here that a majority of people support, but yet the DFL legislature didn’t do anything about was the minimum wage increase. The Senate had no trouble raising their own pay because they didn’t feel like they made a living wage, yet they had no time for all of the other Minnesotans who also do not make a living wage.

PPP (5/23, no trend lines):

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the DFL members of the legislature are doing?
Approve 36
Disapprove 49
Not sure 15

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the Republican members of the legislature are doing?
Approve 23
Disapprove 59
Not sure 18

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 47
Republican 41
Not sure 12
(MoE: ±3.7%)

Not surprisingly both parties in the legislature are underwater, but the DFL is at least within shouting distance of having even approvals at -13. The Republicans, on the other hand, are at -35. This translates into a six point generic ballot edge for the DFL.

A six point generic ballot edge, if through some act of weirdness election day was today, would result in roughly the same distribution of seats in the house as currently exists.

♣ The second poll was released by the Jim Graves campaign early on in the week.

PPP (5/20, no trend lines):

Michele Bachmann (R-inc) 45
Jim Graves (D) 47
Not sure 8
(MoE: ±4.4%)

This is the first poll that Jim Graves has released, and he released a few of them last cycle, that has shown him actually leading Michele Bachmann. And of all the polls that were released last cycle concerning Minnesota’s sixth congressional district, Jim Graves internal polls proved to be the most accurate.

The thing about this poll that is so weird, is that it’s an internal campaign poll released in May. May of the off-year before the election year. 18 months before people go to the polls.

Not only that, but Michele Bachmann is up with TV ads. In May. May of the off-year before the election year. 18 months before people go to the polls.

For some context, Al Franken and Rick Nolan, two Democrats facing re-election for the first time, don’t yet have opponents. That’s how early on in the cycle we are.

There is a special election going on for Senate in Massachusetts right now, the result of John Kerry being elevated to Secretary of State. Fallout from Novembers election. There are still elections taking place that are fallout from the last elections, that’s how early on in the cycle we are.

And yet… Michele Bachmann is up on TV and Jim Graves is releasing internal polls. If that doesn’t deserve a big WTF, I don’t know what does.

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