Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate Mark Andrew (www.startribune.com).
by Tony Petrangelo
Sep 21, 2013, 11:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 9-21

Before we begin, I’ll allow 80’s era Pixies to introduce me:

With that accomplished, we can begin this weeks Wrap in proper style.

♣ All the way back at the beginning of the week the StarTribune released a poll of the Minneapolis Mayoral race that I covered in these electronic pages. In response to this release, the Mark Andrew camp released an internal poll of the race that looks the same but different. Those results (featuring only the candidates for which GQR explicitly mentions in their polling memo):

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (9/14, no trend lines):

Don Samuels (DFL) 10
Jackie Cherryhomes (DFL) 5
Betsy Hodges (DFL) 18
Mark Andrew (DFL) 27
(MoE: ±4.38%)

Those numbers are somewhat similar to the numbers from the StarTribune’s poll for all the candidates except Mark Andrew. For comparison:

Candidate Strib GQR Diff
Don Samuels 16 10 -6
Jackie Cherryhomes 7 5 -2
Betsy Hodges 14 18 +4
Mark Andrew 10 27 +17

When comparing the two polls everyone’s top line number is within a couple points, what could be considered random sampling error, except for Mark Andrew, who does significantly better in his internal poll than he does in the single public poll that’s been released.

So what’s going on here? Is this just a case of an overly optimistic internal poll, or is there a fundamental difference between the two polls that would lead to such divergent results for a single candidate?

Eric Roper breaks down some of the differences between the two polls:

Here is what we know from the Andrew campaign: The sample size was 500 people, 15 percent of which were surveyed via cell phone. The margin of error is +/- 4.38 percent. The party breakdown was DFL: 68 percent, Republican: 8 percent, independent/other: 22 percent.

The Star Tribune poll, which was automated, had the following breakdown: The sample size was 800 people, 10 percent of which were reached via online surveys because of laws against automated cell phone calls. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent. The party breakdown was DFL: 53 percent, Republican: 12 percent, other: 36 percent.

The biggest difference than appears to be the composition of the partisan id of the respondents to the polls. The Andrew campaign internal has 15 points more Democrats than the Strib poll, which has many more Indys.

This difference in respondent partisan id makes some sense as the culprit in that Samuels seems to be catching on as the candidate of the monied Republicans in the city, while Andrew has been more explicitly courting the DFL base. So, as you increase the proportion of DFLers in the sample, according to this theory, it will help Andrew and hurt Samuels. And that’s what we’re seeing in the poll.

But that’s just a theory.

♣ At MinnPost Andy Sturdevant writes about the seeming lack of lawn signs in this years Minneapolis Mayoral race:

Where are all the Minneapolis mayoral yard signs this year? That’s what I thought about walking around Northeast this week, looking for things to write about.

For a mayoral race with 35 candidates to choose from, you sure don’t seem to see a lot of them in the shop windows and front yards of the city. Or I haven’t, anyway. In the vicinity of 13th Ave. and University, I saw but one lonely yard sign for Mark Andrew.

To which I can only respond, “It’s about freaking time politicians stopped wasting their limited financial capitol on lawn signs.”

Although that same trend has not seemed to penetrate down to the city council level.

From the streets, it looks like the real passion among the electorate is in the City Council races around Minneapolis. In Northeast (and in every neighborhood I pass through), the City Council yard signs seem to outnumber their mayoral counterparts 10 to one.

People who have been in politics for awhile, or even those who haven’t, take the lawn sign for granted as an essential political campaign tool. Many of these people simply will not accept that lawn signs are worthless. Even the most reasonable among them construct elaborate rationalizations for why in this race or that race the lawn signs really did make a difference, they totally did and you have to believe me. I mean, I saw them everywhere!

I don’t buy it.

If you’re spending money on lawn signs for a political campaign you may as well just set your money on fire. Both actions will get you roughly the same number of votes.

♣ If, like me, you’ve been wondering what soon to be former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak’s political future holds, here is a nugget:

At some point, a number of years from now, if the governorship is open, I would be interested in that,” Rybak said. “It’s probably the only job I would be interested in right now.

♣ US Senate hopeful Julianne “Just Julianne” Ortman got a profile in the Strib’s Hot Dish Politics blog that contained not one, not two, but three examples of Julianne taking the strong and resolute stances that the modern Republican party loves. Wait, did I say strong and resolute stances? What I meant was the opposite of that.

Regarding the federal health care law, known as ObamaCare, she said: “There are some things about that that are good but I think that when you engage in a conversation in such a comprehensive way, you are going to see some things that people like and you are going see some things that people don’t like. And I think, overall, the system doesn’t work.”

She said giving people with pre-existing conditions protection and extending dependent care to adult children up to age 26 are positive changes. Mandating coverage is not.

“I’m not a full repeal person. I think the House of Representatives has voted 40 times to repeal it. The Senate is not going to repeal it. So if plan A is ‘Let’s do a repeal,’ we better start talking about Plan B. Because plan A got nowhere,” she said. Ortman said she would like to see Congress go “piece-by-piece through that new law and figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

She’s not a “full repeal” person. But she also doesn’t think that the law works. Even though the law isn’t even at a point yet where one could reasonably make determinations about what parts of it do and don’t actually work, Julianne doesn’t think it works. But she doesn’t want to repeal it either.

It’s tough positions like this that are going to make Julianne the top choice among Minnesota Republicans.

Ortman said on immigration that she believes congress could reach bipartisan consensus on securing the borders and allowing children brought to this country illegally the opportunity to attend colleges, a controversial provision known as the DREAM Act.

Despite that, Ortman voted against the Minnesota version of the DREAM Act, called the Minnesota Prosperity Act, this year. That measure, which passed the DFL-controlled Legislature and was signed into law, allows undocumented students to get instate tuition and financial aid as long as they meet certain conditions.

So, she’s for immigration reform, except that she voted, only a few months ago, against an immigration reform bill in Minnesota. So she is in favor of immigration reform, she’s just not in favor of voting for immigration reform? Once again, Julianne Ortman, champion of all Minnesota conservatives, sort of.

Ortman also presented a nuanced view of the ‘Right to Work’ proposal that roiled the Legislature when Republicans were in charge in 2012. She said that measure, which ultimately lacked the votes to pass, was “probably ill timed” and “complicated.”

“Unions have a very important role to play in the private economy,” she said. “There are some unions at a state level that are important to continue like the law enforcement unions and I think the others…there is some reform that needs to be done.”

Asked how she would have voted had it reached the full Senate, Ortman said: “I’m not going to comment on that state issue right now…I don’t think it is something that federal elected officials make a decision on I think it is something that state elected officials make a decision on.”

When she says “I think the others…” she is talking about teachers. What she is saying is “I want cops and firefighters to be well trained and happy with their jobs. Teachers? They can take a hike.”

But she won’t say how she would have voted on Right-to-Work because labor issues don’t ever come up in the US Senate. Or Something. Good luck with this strategy Just Julianne, you’re going to need it!

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