Four out of five influential Democrats from around the Twin Cities think the Minnesota Legislature has lost its way after handing over the majority to Republicans for the first time in four decades.
However, the party is in lock step with both Gov. Mark Dayton–once a controversial figure even among DFLers–and President Barack Obama.
More than 100 Democrats from our Minnesota Patch communities, from Northfield to Stillwater, were surveyed in our inaugural Twin Cities Blue poll, which focused on the party’s allegiances.
Fifty-four responses were collected.
When asked if they felt the former U.S. Senator had become a strong leader as governor of Minnesota, 52 of the 54 Democrats surveyed agreed with that sentiment, with one voter neutral on the item and one survey participant disagreeing.
That sentiment flipped, completely, when asked about the Minnesota State Legislature, as DFLers were united in their disapproval of the 2012 session. When asked , “The Minnesota State Legislature is on the right track. Agree or disagree?” – the participants made it 54 votes for either somewhat disagreeing or fully disagreeing with that statement.
“Why was there no legislative action last session specifically regarding creating jobs and putting Minnesota back to work?” one commenter (all surveys were given anonymously) stated. “Why won’t the work with the Democrats to make this a better state?” asked another. “Having waited 40 years to gain control, how is it there wasn’t a more measured approach to legislation to assure continued control?” asked a third.
The Democrats split when it came to our third topic–the Minnesota Vikings stadium. Of the 54 who responded, nearly one-third of the Democrats said it was not the right move.
“Not when we can’t adequately fund our schools,” said one influencer.
Democrats expressed the same support for Obama that they did for Dayton, with few exceptions. Three out of four said Obama is doing a good, or positive, job of running the country. The remaining 13 DFLers said he was doing a “fair” job.
The Blue Twin Cities Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific, random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a group of influential local Democratic activists, party leaders, candidates and elected officials in Minnesota. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in Minnesota Patch’s surveys, although not all responded to this story’s questions. Surveys were conducted from July 20 to 26, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Twin Cities and Blue Twin Cities surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and progressives on the ground in Minnesota. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in periodic surveys that last just a few minutes, please contact Associate Regional Editor Mike Schoemer at email@example.com.
Blue Twin Cities Roster: Apple Valley/Rosemount–Greg Clausen (candidate SD 57), Jeff Wilfahrt (candidate HD 57B), Dave Mindeman (DFL party), Roxanne Mindeman (DFL delegate to DNC), Marcee Kain (SD 57 chair); Plymouth–Rep. Ryan Winkler (HD 46A), Audrey Britton (HD 44A), John Benson (HD 44B), Sen. Ann Rest (SD 45), Rep. Lyndon Carlson (HD 45A); Shakopee–Chuck Berg (55A candidate), Sue Moravec (Chair, US House District 2 DFL), Josh Ondich(SD 55 candidate), Joan Lynch, Sandy Sandoval; Lakeville–Matt Little (candidate for mayor), Colin Lee (HD 58A candidate), Colin Lee (District 58 DFL chair), Andrew Brobston (SD 58 candidate), Coleen Rowley (former US House candidate); Fridley/SW Minneapolis–Sen. Scott Dibble (SD 60), Sean Broom (US District 5), Jeremy Powers (DFL MN director); Fridley–Avonna Starck (SD 41), Julie Blaha (Anoka-Hennepin Education MN), Bill Haney (SD 41 campaign chair), Rachel Nelson (SD 41 DFL chair), Brian Strub, Sen Barb Goodwin (SD 41), Aaron Klemz (Left.mn); Hopkins–Jimmy Longoria; Sen. Ron Latz, Fartun Weil, Cheryl Youakim (city council), Tim Bergleland, Bruce Rowan (former council member); Eagan–Mike Maguire (mayor), Sen. Jim Carlson, Rep. Sandy Massin, John Wells (chair, DFL SD 51), Laurie Halverson (candidate HD 51B); Woodbury–Susan Kent (candidate SD 53), Alberder Gillespie (SD 53 chair), JoAnn Ward (HD 53A candidate), Ann Marie Metzger (HD 53B candidate), Kathy Saltzman (former Senator); Edina–Tom LaForce(creator, Politics in Edina), Ron Erhardt (former GOP House member), Kevin Staunton (Edina planning commission), Laura Davis (SD 49 secretary), Melisa Franzen (candidate SD 49); Minnetonka–Sen Teri Bonoff; Yvonne Selcer (HD 48A candidate), Laure McKendry (SD 48 candidate), Geneva MacMillan (League of Women Voters), Peggy Kvam (former council candidate); St. Michael–Jim Graves (US House Dist. 6 candidate), Susan Rego (Wright County DFL), Nancy Schumacher (Member, DNC), Gave Davis (Delegate to Democratic National Convention), Mike Verhulst; Oakdale–Sen. Chuck Wiger, Ted Bearth (candidate, Washington County Commission); Rep. Nora Slawik; Northfield–Andrew Brobston (SD 58 candidate), Jim Arlt (HD 58B candidate), Jane McWilliams (League of Women Voters), Patrick Ganey (Northfield City Council), Kevin Dahle (SD 20B candidate), Cliff Martin (18-year-old DNC delegate); Maple Grove–Kyle Tonn (SD 34 chair), Sharon Behanksy (SD 34 candidate); Mendota Heights–Rep. Rick Hansen, Sen. Jim Metzen, Alina Fox (SD 39 delegate), Tom Marver; Richfield–Rep. Linda Slocum, Edwina Garcia (city council candidate), Brie Shultz, Philip Lowe Jr. (Richfield Human Rights), Dan Haugen (president Adler Grad School); Inver Grove Heights–Kathleen Gaylord (Dakota Co. Commission), Rep. Joe Atkins; St. Louis Park–Minke Hindin, Rep. Steve Simon, Betsy Baker (SD 46 chair), Tom Ross (SD 46 assoc. chair); Stillwater–US Rep. Betty McCollum (US District 4), Julie Bunn (SD 39 candidate), John Bruno (SD 39); Golden Valley–Mike Freiberg (HD 45B candidate), Sen. Ron Latz, Betty Folliard (former state rep.), former Sen. Linda Higgins (now Henn. Co. candidate).