Scott has written extensively about the Minnesota Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll, which has consistently been wrong since the 1970s–amazingly enough, always in the same direction! Scott’s dissections of the poll go back to 2002; see this great piece, which traces 24 years of history, for a good introduction.
A couple of days ago, the Minnesota Poll came out with a report on our gubernatorial election, which pits popular Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty against a notably mean-spirited Democrat, Mike Hatch, and an Independence Party candidate named Peter Hutchinson. The poll showed a dead heat, 42% each, between Pawlenty and Hatch. I thought about writing a post titled “Poll Shows Comfortable Lead for Pawlenty,” but didn’t bother.
This morning, the Star Tribune struck again, with a Minnesota Poll purporting to show Democrat Amy Klobuchar, the Hennepin County Attorney who is presiding over a crime wave, with a 24-point lead over Congressman Mark Kennedy. No one believes that this result bears any relationship to reality. Klobuchar is no doubt ahead, as the candidates’ internal polls show, with voters so far viewing both candidates mostly as a generic Democrat and a generic Republican, respectively. But this poll result can only be viewed as a tactical effort by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a staunchly Democratic newspaper, to dry up Kennedy’s fundraising among people who don’t know their poll’s history, thereby helping to push Klobuchar’s nose over the finish line.