On Trafalgar’s Minnesota poll

I have absolutely no feel for the state of play in Minnesota’s elections — early voting commenced this past Friday — so I was especially interested in the results of the Alpha News/Trafalgar Group poll results of our statewide races that Alpha reported here last week. I believe that the poll is the best out there and that the results are accurate within the margin of error as of the poll’s inclusive dates. Trafalgar chief pollster Robert Cahaly discussed his methodology with Alpha’s Liz Collin in the interview posted here.

I have a few relatively brief comments of a personal nature on the gubernatorial and attorney general races.

Scott Jensen (R) versus Tim Walz (DFL).

Scott Jensen is a family physician who vocally opposed the Covid regime instituted by Governor Walz and suffered the predictable harassment as a result. Trafalgar’s poll places him 2.7 points behind Walz, inside the poll’s margin of error.

I admire and appreciate his fighting spirit. To say the least, he is a decent and smart man. In my conversations with him, including one this morning after his appearance on Fox and Friends, I have found him to be incredibly candid. I admire and appreciate his candor as well. On these points I know I’m not alone. When he led off the Republican candidates addressing our local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition, he received a standing ovation following his remarks. I can’t recall that ever happening before.

In Minnesota’s competitive races this year the Democrats are all in on abortion. You would think it’s the only issue confronting voters this year. In fact, it’s sacrosanct status is protected by a Minnesota Supreme Court decision. It’s not on the ballot in any respect.

Since he secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination the Alliance for a Better Minnesota PAC has runs ads relentlessly attacking Dr. Jensen for his stated opposition to abortion. ABM would oppose him as a matter of course, but abortion is its chosen line on Dr. Jensen.

The ads are effective in their own way. I think one can infer the effectiveness of the advertising from the small number of undecided voters in the Jensen-Walz race. I wonder if it may have something like the impact of the hammering Mitt Romney took in the Obama campaign’s negative advertising before Romney’s general election campaign began in the summer of 2012.

In his comments to me this morning Dr. Jensen indicated he wasn’t happy about the voluminous negative advertising, but speculated that it may be backfiring. He reminded me that it came in third among the most important issues identified by likely voters in the Trafalgar poll, way behind crime.

Dr. Jensen is running a populist campaign. He mentioned that he has received 35,000 individual donations and anticipates raising $5 million in his campaign, a record for a Minnesota Republican gubernatorial nominee. He has 110,000 email contacts and 500,000 followers on Facebook. May I add that he concluded his conversation with me this morning by noting “people are paying attention to Power Line”?

Jim Schultz (R) versus Keith Ellison (Nation of Islam DFL).

I have been beating my head against Keith Ellison’s wall since he ran for Congress in 2006. I profiled him just before he was elected in the Weekly Standard article “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.” He is a rank liar and leftist hustler of the terrorist-supporting variety. When he gave up his congressional seat to run for attorney general in 2018, I wrote an equally ineffective Standard column asking “Can Keith Ellison turn lawman?” Rereading it last week, I was struck by how much I had forgotten. Among other things, I made the salient point that Ellison is unfit “for any public office, let alone attorney general.”

Jim Schultz is a Harvard Law School grad. He profiles himself on his site here. He also made an impressive presentation to our Republican Jewish Coalition chapter.

Not surprisingly, ABM has declared Jim Schultz “too extreme” for Minnesota. Again, abortion is a leading theme. Alida Rockefeller Messinger has in past years been identified as a substantial contributor to the ABM PAC. Earlier this year the Center of the American Experiment’s Bill Glahn tried to sort out the players in “The power behind the throne: 1600 University Avenue, St. Paul.” It isn’t easy.

Trafalgar shows Schultz leading Ellison. No Republican has won this office since Doug Head did it in 1966. Those into pattern recognition might reasonably draw the conclusion that the odds favor Ellison, but voters seem to have gotten the idea that law enforcement isn’t really Ellison’s bag.

The Republican Attorney Generals Association sees an opportunity here. I spoke with RAGA executive director Pete Bisbee last week and heard from him again by email this morning. Pete tells me that RAGA “just placed a $1M [advertising] reservation in October.” They oppose Ellison and support Schultz. Indeed, the Fire AG Ellison site and embedded video seem to draw on my own 2018 Standard column.

I can only plead with everyone in our hearing to get out and vote and get your like-minded friends to get out and vote in this and our other statewide elections.

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