Party affiliation in Minnesota

This past fall we took note of the fascinating Pew Research Center report on “The 2004 Polical Landscape.” We were particularly interested in Part 1 of the report on the trends in voter party affiliation, based on a poll Pew had conducted including interviews of 80,000 voters over the previous three years.
In a graphic indicating partisan shifts in swing states, the report showed a post- 9/11 upswing of registerd voter affiliation with the Republican Party in Minnesota by eight points, from 23-31 over the 1997-2000 period to 31-28 in the period since 9/11. As we noted below, only the Star Tribune Minnesota Poll’s peculiar alchemy can transmute a position of Republican strength into the position of weakness and inferiority represented in the poll results discussed below in “Is Minnesota a battleground state?”.
Admittedly, the Strib Minnesota Poll purports to give us a representative sample of likely rather than registered voters. But I doubt that that explains the discrepancy between the two polls, and believe that the Pew survey provides additional support for the proposition that today’s poll sample carries the traditional Minnesota Poll bias in favor of Democrats.

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