Could Survey USA be any less accurate

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Survey USA Polling Data from KSTP Poll

Wow, just when you thought SurveyUSA couldn't provide "less accurate" data they prove they can.


I am going to assume it's weighted to give 50% Men and 50% woman. The odds of that happening are pretty unlikely; however if they weighted it why not go with 52% women and 48% men to match what normally turns out to vote. Oh yeah since women favor Democrats over Republicans...

35% republican okay a little high but with such a small sample size we are talking a couple of respondents. 35+33+39=98 where is the other 2% you can't lose that in rounding.

Okay this one gets me 35% Republican which is a little high and 27% support of Tea Party. Those numbers need to be closer together. Again a small sample size where six people can change the results but....

86% of those surveyed vote in the Midterm elections, since this is a poll of likely voters for a Midterm election, does that seem correct to you?

53% of likely voters are college grads according to this survey. Considering Minnesota only has 28% college grads does that seem correct to you? Maybe the question was misrepresented because 55% of Minnesotans have some post secondary education.

The income question is another that is interesting, Minnesota has a Median income of $52K, so for only 32% to be more than $50K is an issue. That isn't one or two people in a sampling error that flat out wrong.

Here is my favorite; 94% of respondents are white, while Minnesota is mostly white it still has a 15% minority population. They simply cannot all be not-likely voters.

I won't get into the region of the State issue since in this survey it is either over represented or under represented depending on your definition of what is the Twin Cities Region.


Clearly this survey was directed at potential respondents who have a certain ideological view, can you guess who?


Letter to the Editor

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

Carlos Mariani DFL member of the Minnesota House who is seeking reelection in St. Paul wrote a letter to the Editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune concering losing his AFL-CIO endorsement.

But I did not expect to lose major labor endorsement for trying to serve
children better. I now don't know whether losing labor's support will affect my
chances of chairing the committee again.
Representative Mariani is the chair of the Minnesota House K-12 Policy Committee and has supported annual review of teachers, principals and other staff, alternative licensing, and new ways to train teachers.

I also led efforts to create a new alternative pathway to earning a teaching license that would allow high-quality programs like Teach for America to help Minnesota close the achievement gap. I had hoped for union support; instead they
fought it. Some union officials vigorously criticized us.
I am not a huge fan of the statewide Teacher's Union, Education Minnesota, but that doesn't mean that I am not a supporter of individual teachers. Rather the opposite is true, I have first hand seen what ONE teacher can do. Unfortunately I have seen the other end of the spectrum when a Teacher's Union protects a bad (that's being unkind to the word bad) teacher.

When I have spoken to Union representatives they believe it is a "witchhunt" and tell thier membership that hundreds thousands of jobs are at risk, which is so untrue. This is a means to identify the one or two bad teachers in an entire district and suggest they find employment in another field. So while this number might reach a hundred statewide in its first look it sure isn't going to continue at that level.

I have also suggested that since we have a state wide union maybe we should have a statewide teacher contract and "statewide" school system. But the latter may be too extreme.

Another questionable poll

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

I guess its not surprising that a kstp poll states that Dayton and Emmer are tied at 39 percent.

Not surprising KSTP had to try and defend their poll before they even announced the results. Claiming accuracy that almost unmatched, yet they failed to mention that the AP will not acknowledge the results. I guess they are so accurate.

Interesting Discussion on the validity of the Polls

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Yahoo! News has posted a story about polls going wild. As I have been an avid poll follower over the years I have a great love hate relationship with them.

In many cases I am reminded of Tim Penny's sudden drop in the polls with two weeks remaining that seemed to be unrealistic when compared to all the other polls of the time, however since it was published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune people really believed it was accurate. Tim Penny lost his volunteers and has slow but steady donations cease to exist.

This year Rasmussen published a series of polls which I think everyone who has ever study polling data agrees are hog wash but because news sources (AP excluded) gobble them up people really believe they are accurate.

I think maybe that will be something I work on expanding, getting the Local News Sources to not report on any poll done by automated means, KSTP I am talking to you.

How the votes will fall

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Over the past week I have spent some time looking at models for the upcoming election and unless Dayton does something stupid, which isn't out of the realm of possibilities in Minnesota Politics, there is virtually no chance that he can be defeated.

My model takes several things in to consideration.

  • 2% of the voters will be voting for another "third" party, be it Green, Libertarian, Communist or other.
  • 40% of the voters currently favor Democratic Party Candidate Mark Dayton, with 1/3 of his support in the soft category.
  • 15% of the voters currently favor Independence Party Candidate Tom Horner, with ½ of his support in the soft category.
  • 35% of the voters currently favor Republican Party Candidate Tom Emmer, with ¼ of his support in the soft category.
  • 8% of the voters are undecided.


The variable of voter participation can have three responses; a Low Turn Out, a Moderate Turn Out, and a Heavy Turn Out. A Low turnout generally favors the incumbent as voter dissatisfaction drives people to the poll, while a high turnout usually favors the challenger. Of course with no incumbent and three major parties those rules generally don't apply.

  • In looking at past elections I focused on the voter turnout in two key counties, Hennepin (the most populous country) and St. Louis County (Key to the canoe vote). Both Counties had high voter turnout for the primaries, much high than expected, the question is are those voters still engaged and will you get a similarly high turnout in General Election. So I looked at the local races (State Representative and Senate and the Congressional Races.) and determined that you most likely will see a low to moderate voter turnout in Hennepin County and Moderate turnout in St. Louis County. With the same concept the Sixth Congressional District might have a high turnout with the race for Bachmann and Clark, but I suspect low turnout to be the rule. With approximately 2.1 million votes cast out of 3 plus million eligible voters.


The next potent variable is which way the state is leaning; Democrat (Left) or Republican (Right). For the purpose of this discussion I put five distinctly different zones; Firmly Democrat, Moderately Democrat, No Lean, Moderately Republican and Firmly Republican.

  • While in general I think Minnesota is Moderately Democrat but the real question to me was what will the voters be when they step into voting booth. Since I suspect places like Democrat Leaning Hennepin County and St. Louis County to have low to Moderate Turnout while Republican Leaning counties of Washington, Chisago, and others in the CD6 to have higher turnout I believe that Moderate Republican is the better model.

When I look at the numbers in this model Dayton receives between 865,000 and 951,000, Emmer 757,000 and 843,000 while Horner is in a distant third with 346,000 and 410,000.

My Predication as on Oct 28th, Dayton 894,000 votes, Emmer 785,000 votes, and Horner 389,000 votes.

  • It's depressing to write that. But this is Minnesota Politics and the numbers can change in heartbeat depending on the candidates last moves.

What could cause change?

  • Emmer is sitting a fairly large war chest at the moment and it is expected for him to launch a very seriously negative campaign against Dayton in the last week. While I had expected it to start a few days ago I have yet to see it materialize.
  • Emmer could make another one of his classic misstatements and mischaracterizations that have plagued him in the past. Wait staff making $100,000 a year anyone.
  • Dayton supposedly has very little in the war chest and lacks support from his own party. Since much of his campaign is self-funded it could be an issue if Emmer gains traction on an issue or two.
  • Dayton has done some seriously head scratching dumb things in his political career and it's not out of the question that he could do something dumb in the next week.

In looking at the three campaigns there is little questioning that Dayton has run the best plan. I have spent many hours wondering why Emmer's campaign has done this or that and I am left with the feeling that Emmer's Campaign is going to leave this election with virtually a fully loaded gun. When I look at Horner's campaign I am left wondering what could have been; had they attacked the two parties in August rather than late September and been more aggressive with first time voters… I guess more on this later.

Not Good News

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

The latest MPR/Humphrey Institute poll does little to reverse a continuing trend; support is leaning away from both Horner and Emmer.

Key Findings

• Dayton's lead rests on engaging Democrats, broadening his coalition more than Emmer, his economic populism, and localizing the election to capitalize on the unpopularity of Governor Tim Pawlenty.

• Dayton has the advantage among voters who are leaning toward a candidate but his support is not as firm as Emmer's and Horner's support is soft.

• Emmer's greatest opportunity is to reframe the election as a national referendum on President Barack Obama and the nation's direction.


Shock the World Again!

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Jesse Ventura, former Independence Party Governor is suggesting that we shock the world again.

Here is the story in the Pioneer Press.

Another Endorsement for Horner

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Former Republican Governor Al Quie has endorsed Tom Horner for Governor, read about it here.

Star Tribune Shows off new Horner Ads

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

The Minneapols Star and Tribune provided a link to Tom Horner's two new TV ads.

MinnPost asks can Horner Capitalize

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

The key, says former IP gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny, is whether Horner's campaign has the resources to advertise the endorsements.

DFL Candidates Speaks out against Dayton’s Plan

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Not that it is shocking, considering how poorly thought out and inconceivable Dayton's plan is, but…

Minnesota Radio is reporting that many DFL Candidates are speaking out against Dayton's Plan to Tax the "crap" out of the Rich.

Minneapolis Star Tribune Endorses Tom Horner

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Well-prepared candidate gives Minnesotans the chance to stand up against polarization.

Read the Full Endorsement here

Horner presents voters with an opportunity they cannot afford to pass up. He possesses not only the understanding and communication skills that governing requires, but, unlike either DFLer Mark Dayton or Republican Tom Emmer, he also has the temperament to bridge the partisan divide that has long stymied the search for lasting solutions to chronic problems, both in Minnesota and the nation. For us, this choice is not a close call.

I well written endorsement.

Minnesota Hospitals PAC endorses Horner

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

The Minnesota Hosptial's Politcal Action Committe today endoresed Tom Horner for Governor.

Is Horner scaring the GOP

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

With Halloween around the corner is GOP run scared of Tom Horner?

Current Governor Tim Pawlenty less than stupendous endorsement of Tom Emmer sure has me believing that is the case.

"Republicans of all stripes — moderate, conservative, and libertarian — agree with Tom Emmer's central principles: government must live within its means; we cannot raise taxes if we want to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs; and government must be reformed," Pawlenty wrote.

If that is the best you can say about Emmer, especially if you have been working to support his candidacy since the Endorsement that is not a ringing endorsement.

After calling Tom Horner a decent man Pawlenty Continued:

"Any Republican who votes for Tom Horner is not only helping (Democrat) Mark Dayton become governor, but casting a vote to undo the tax and spending cuts we've fought so hard for over the last 8 years," Pawlenty wrote.

You go back to last week's comments by GOP chairman Tony Sutton in reference to "Republicans who vote for Tom Horner":

"There's a special place in hell for these quislings."

There is little doubt that the Horner Campaign is gaining momentum with those that consider themselves moderate republicans. The endorsement by multiple members of the Moderate GOP is helping bring more people into the fold. If you think the GOP is scared now wait until Tom Horner cracks 20% in the polls.

Michele Bachmann's Future

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: ,

While it pains me to say it I feel that Michele Bachmann will win this fall’s election for Congress in the 6th Congressional District. The real question is where does she go from here?

In 2012 will she be the Republican Candidate for US Senator against incumbent Amy Klobuchar? Will she be VIP candidate on someone’s ticket? Will she run for US Congress again?

The questions may be answered when the State of Minnesota's Congressional Districts are redrawn in 2011. If we assume that Minnesota keeps all eight seats in Congress (which seems pretty safe at the moment) than we know portions of the 6th Congressional District will be detached and joined with other districts as Washington County has made vast growth in populations over the past decade. While the Republicans would like to see a combined district for Minneapolis and St. Paul that will never (or should never) stand judicial overview. So the assumption is that a couple of State Legislative districts will shift from the 6th to the 4th. The real concern is whether or not those districts include Lake Elmo as well as Woodbury and heaven forbid Stillwater. While I doubt Stillwater will be lost unless there is a radical shift in district lines, but it isn’t out of the question. If Bachmann ends up a resident of the 4th CD, she will not run for Congress.

Congresswoman Bachmann is amassing a huge warchest, some estimates indicate she may be earning more than $37K a day in donations. It obvious she is not, heck she couldn’t even if she wanted to, spend that much on a CD election. My guess is she is preparing for a shot at US Senator. She will run basically unopposed in the Primary and with enough money could she defeat Senator Klobucher?
The problem with this is Klobucher has the highest approval rating of any US Senator and much like another former CD 6th Congressmen, it will be tough to win a State Wide election with her positions.

There is the possibility is Congresswoman Bachmann is looking to be the VP on someone’s ticket for US President, Dan Quayle to a conservative leaning George Bush. The question who’s ticket would this benefit? Looking at the first round of potential candidates he answer is Mitt Romney.

The final two possibilities I think are very low on the potential meter, not run for anything or go for the whole enchilada as US President.

With a geographically smaller 6th district and even the potential to be in the 4th district I don’t think she will run that campaign. The smaller 6th district will move from fairly conservative to a more moderate position with St. Cloud becoming much more a strong locale in the district. While a move to the 4th district basically eliminates any chance of victory. In either case a loss would end her political career.

IF Bachmann was challenging Franken for the US Senate seat I think it would be fairly easy to call where she would go, but rather she would be challenging the highly liked Klobuchar. However to put a monkey in the works many people believe that Tim Pawlenty is eyeing Franken’s seat and whether Bachmann likes it or not she would have a hard time winning that nomination. So it Klobuchar in two years or nothing.

So I would not be surprised to see Michele Bachmann angle for a VP on someone else’s ticket and like I said politically it makes sense for Mitt Romney to lock up the “Tea Party” caucus.

Real Clear Politics - Poll Average

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Dayton - 38
Emmer - 32
Horner - 17
Undecided - 13 percent

Trend for the last month
Dayton -5
Emmer +/- 0
Horner +7
Undecided -2

Rasmussen Poll - 10/08

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Well they got rid of the "leaners" but I wonder if they still have a similiar issue.

Dayton - 40%
Emmer - 38%
Horner - 15%

"In the Minnesota governor's race, Rasmussen Reports has made a decision not to
use our traditional leaners model. Normally, that model shows support falling
off for a third-party candidate. However, in Minnesota, third-party candidates
often defy that trend, and a look at the initial preference data suggests that
may be happening this year."

I find it interesting that Rasmussen continues to have a much smaller response for "undecided" than several other polls. With approximately 7% undecided this is less than half of a couple other polls.

Bachmann attacks Horner

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , , ,

At an EMPTY Conservative Rally at Orcherstra Hall in Minnepolis

"We can't let anyone tell us that Tom Horner is a pro-business Republican. This
is no pro-business Republican. This is two of the same, both pro-taxing,
essentially Democrats running against Tom Emmer," she said.


Horner Article in Crookston Times

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Read the full article here

Crookston — Tom Horner, Independence Party candidate for Minnesota governor,
acknowledged during a visit to Crookston Thursday that he can sense a wave of
momentum swelling behind his campaign, whether it's newspaper endorsements or
media coverage. But, he was quick to add while speaking to about 15 people in
the city hall council chambers, being a candidate for office and traveling from
city to city and meeting to meeting can sometimes be an "out of body"

"There are days that I think every single person
in Minnesota is going to vote for me," Horner said. "Then there are other days
when I don't think I'd vote for myself."

Former GOP vets fire back at GOP

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

"Those of us who support Horner and his centrist view of governance have nothing in common with Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, a Nazi sympathizer who collaborated with the Germans to enslave millions of his countrymen during the Second World War,"

Pioneer Press Blog

Horner Picks up seven more endorsements

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels: , ,

Former North Dakota Gov. Allen Olson; University of Minnesota, Crookston
rural policy professor Jack Geller; former state Transportation Commissioner
Dick Braun; former Republican House Speaker and educator David Jennings; former
Taylor Corp. CEO Jean Taylor; University of St. Thomas professor emeritus Fred
Zimmerman, and former DFL Minneapolis City Council member Joan Niemiec said
Horner is the best candidate to overcome partisan differences and provide
leadership in their respective fields.

See the Pioneer Press Blog here.