If you\’re part of the Emmer camp, or even one of his supporters, yesterday was certainly a morale booster with the release of the MPR poll regarding the Governor\’s race. After months and millions upon millions of dollars of negative attack ads being directed at Emmer, and Emmer responding with….well nothing. The race is still a dead heat. Now that Emmer is starting to respond we may very well see the tide start shifting away though.
What\’s really interesting though is when you get into the nitty-gritty of the poll, the demographics.
First of all, the potential spoiler, is Independent candidate Tom Horner. Now the big concern on the right was how much of the Republican vote was Horner going to steal. He is a former Republican, RINO to many, but his views are widely out of step with most everyone on the right. But that concern was still there. It appears that concern was maybe unfounded as he pulls more voters from the left side of the aisle than the right, by almost a 2:1 margin actually. In essence, he\’s more a spoiler for the Democrats than the Republicans.
But what really surprised me was the women….for many that know me, that shouldn\’t be a huge surprise, so let me explain more, by paraphrasing a great political mind that probably would prefer not to be named here. Women can be a bit signpost for Republicans, as they are the proverbial \”canary in the coal mine\”. If you look at the political spectrum, you got about 30% that are sold GOP or Democrat on either side of the aisle. You\’re pretty certain of the support of your party. So you\’re mostly competing for all those independents in the middle, some of which tend to lean one way or another. Suburban women generally lean Democrat, so as a Republican if you can do well amongst them, you\’ve probably captured a good share of the independents. If you start losing women, well, your opponent is starting to march down that political battlefield towards your end zone.
With the DWI issue getting such prominence, and Dayton\’s own often (and recent) problems with alcohol NOT getting much attention, I figured Emmer is probably in trouble amongst women. Plus he\’s been mostly talking about spending and the deficit which, on it\’s own, isn\’t typically going to resonate with them. But this poll shows that Emmer trails by only 7 points with women, and no candidate really has a commanding lead. That\’s particularly encouraging as Emmer doesn\’t have much of a hole to dig out of there. Instead it\’s a platform on which to build.
And it\’s a great starting point, not let\’s move forward to November!