|Source: Wikimedia Commons (John Snape) CC BY-SA 3.0|
The KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll results announced at the beginning of October revealed an interesting dichotomy among the voters questioned by the survey:
52% of respondents disapprove of the performance of Minnesota's government health insurance exchange, MNSure, which in the wake of scandal and mismanagement has made healthcare less affordable and resulted in less choice for consumers.
66% of respondents disapprove of the new $77 million Senate Legislative Office Building (SLOB), passed by the DFL-controlled legislature in a classic dead-of-night, end-of-session, buried-in-a-tax-bill gambit.
61% of respondents rate Minnesota's roads, highways, and bridges as "Fair" or "Poor," compared to 38% who rate them "Excellent" or "Good." But at least we have trains and bike paths that are useless for commerce or for hauling the fishing boat up to Brainerd.
The survey didn't need to ask whether Minnesotans are satisfied or dissatisfied with the educational achievement gap in the school districts with the highest per-pupil state funding (Minneapolis and Saint Paul).
And now for the bad news for Republicans:
Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mark Dayton is doing as Governor?
10% Not Sure
Minnesotans elected a state auditor (twice) without a background in accounting or auditing, a governor who was "unaware" of certain key provisions in major legislation until after he signed them into law, and a United States Senator who votes with his party 97% of the time.
There is a saying, "I hear what you say, but I believe what you do." On Election Day, many Minnesota voters seem to be saying, "Hear no evil," or perhaps they are too enamored with bread and circuses to care.
There was a glimmer of hope for Republican candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, in a more recent KSTP/SurveyUSA poll. Johnson's support among independent voters has increased, with Gov. Dayton's lead in that demographic now in the single digits. Independents are by definition less ideological than the party faithful, which should favor the more pragmatic, results-oriented candidate. If Republicans can get out the vote, that may be just enough.