Minnesota

Filing for Office

Filing for Office

Tips, Hints and One Key Mistake to Avoid!

Candidates for all of Minnesota’s constitutional offices, including State Representative and State Senator, who want their name to appear on the November ballot MUST file an affidavit of candidacy for office between Tuesday, May 20 and Tuesday, June 3. Candidates may withdraw their names from the ballot by by filing an affidavit of withdrawal within 2 days of the end of the filing period, or by Thursday, June 5.

Minnesota Statutes 204B.09 subd.1(d) states “Affidavits and petitions for state offices must be filed with the secretary of state or with the county auditor of the county in which the candidate resides.” This means you can file at the secretary of state’s office located in the State Office Building in St. Paul or at your home county auditor’s office.

Here are some filing suggestions.

  1. The filing fee is $100 for both State Representative and State Senator. Cash, campaign or personal check is accepted.
  2. You must know your district number when filing! If you file in the wrong district, and the paperwork is submitted, you’ll have to withdraw your candidacy and re-file at an additional $100 cost. If you fail to file in the correct district and the filing period ends, you’re out of luck.
  3. DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF USING YOUR LEGAL OR FORMAL NAME WHEN FILING! Instead, use the name by which you are commonly known. For instance, if your legal name is Theodore Andrew McGuire IV, but you are commonly known as Ted McGuire, that is the name you should use.  Don’t use a formal first name such as Stephen, Jonathan, Elizabeth, etc., if everyone knows you as Steve, John or Betty. Don’t add a suffix such as “IV” or “Jr”. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD.
  4. While you don’t have to file the first day, there is no strategic reason to wait. Why not file early — within the first few days — so your opponent knows you’re ready to go! Give him/her something to think about every day.
  5. Bring a camera and take a picture to submit with your filing press release. (Make sure the photo is high resolution and remove the date stamp. Have the photo taken of either you completing the paperwork, handing it to the filing clerk or standing with smile in front of the counter.)
  6. Submit your “filing for office” press release and photo immediately after filing. You are likely to get press so make sure the press release reiterates your “why I’m running for office” message.
  7. The filing fee is a non-campaign disbursement and while it needs to be reported, doesn’t count against your spending limits. Your treasurer should properly code the expense as a non-campaign disbursement on your campaign finance report.

If you have questions about the filing process, or for other ideas that influence, contact us today.

Congratulations!

P2B Strategies would like to extend our congratulations to Congressman-elect Chip Cravaack and all our other clients who were victorious on election night.

Congressman Erik Paulsen – CD3
Congressman-elect Chip Cravaack – CD8
State Senator-elect John Carlson – SD4
State Senator-elect Gretchen Hoffman – SD10
State Senator Amy Koch – SD19
State Senator-elect Al DeKruif – SD25
State Senator-elect Carla Nelson – SD30
State Senator-elect Jeremy Miller – SD31
State Senator Julianne Ortman – SD34
State Senator Geoff Michel – SD41
State Senator-elect Michelle Benson – SD49
State Representative-elect Dan Fabian – HD1A
State Representative-elect Carolyn McElfatrick – HD3B
State Representative Larry Howes – HD4B
State Representative-elect Roger Crawford – HD8B
State Representative Torrey Westrom – HD11A
State Representative-elect Mary Franson – HD11B
State Representative-elect Mike LeMieur – HD12B
State Representative Steve Gottwalt – HD15A
State Representative-elect Sondra Erickson – HD16A
State Representative Mary Kiffmeyer – HD16B
State Representative-elect Kurt Daudt – HD17A
State Representative-elect Bob Barrett – HD17B
State Representative-elect Chris Swedzinski – HD21A
State Representative Bob Gunther – HD24A
State Representative Tony Cornish – HD24B
State Representative-elect Glenn Gruenhagen – HD25A
State Representative-elect Kelby Woodard – HD25B
State Representative-elect Mike Benson – HD30B
State Representative Greg Davids – HD31B
State Representative Joyce Peppin – HD32A
State Representative Connie Doepke – HD33B
State Representative Pat Garofalo – HD36B
State Representative Tara Mack – HD37A
State Representative-Elect Kurt Bills – HD37B
State Representative-elect Pam Myhra – HD40A
State Representative Keith Downey – HD41A
State Representative-elect Pat Mazorol – HD41B
State Representative Jenifer Loon – HD42B
State Representative Sarah Anderson – HD43A
State Representative Peggy Scott – HD49A
State Representative-elect Branden Petersen – HD49B
State Representative Tim Sanders – HD51A
State Representative Bob Dettmer – HD52A
State Representative Matt Dean – HD52B
State Representative-elect Linda Runbeck – HD53A
State Representative-elect John Kriesel – HD57A
Judge Larry Clark – 1st District Court 8
School Board Member-elect Teresa Lunt – ISD279
School Board Member-elect Jim Burgett – ISD279
School Board Member elect Jane Bunting – ISD728
County Commissioner Robyn West – Anoka District 3
County Commissioner-elect Deb Roschen – Wabasha District 2
County Commissioner-elect Autumn Lehrke – Washington District 4
Three Rivers Park Commissioner-elect Joan Peters – Hennepin District 3
Three Rivers Park Commissioner-elect John Gibbs – Hennepin District 5
City Council Member-elect Michael Alexander – Goodview
City Council Member-elect Michelle Alexander – Winona
City Council Member Tim Bildsoe – Plymouth
City Council Member-elect Christopher Burns – Woodbury
City Council Member-elect Derrick Lehrke – Cottage Grove
Town Supervisor-elect Mark Eiden – Hassan Seat E
Town Supervisor-elect Dan Hunt – Hassan Seat D

Tea Party activism: MIA in MN

by Briana Bierschbach
Pub: Saint Paul Legal Ledger Capitol Report
Issued: September 22,2010

Despite striking primary upsets in some states, movement shows little traction here

On a Saturday afternoon in July, a dozen or so locals sat under a gazebo in Central Park in downtown North Branch. “Wanted: Karl Marx” posters were stapled to the gazebo, and a welcome sign and a waving Don’t Tread on Me flag greeted members of the Old North Church Tea Party to what was billed as a candidate forum.

Participants sat on picnic benches that were drawn into a circle to face Ted Lazane, the event’s organizer. Lazane explained that the purpose of the gathering was to allow candidates running for public office in the area a chance to talk to Tea Party members.

But before the candidates could speak, one person in the crowd stood up and gave a five-minute speech about the federal government’s decimation of the Constitution. After he was finished, several others wanted to speak too, and were upset when Lazane said no. He wanted to get to the candidate discussion. Then another person stood up and protested to the candidates speaking, saying the Tea Party was not supposed to endorse political candidates.

In the end, several Republican candidates running for the Legislature spoke for a few minutes and were promptly cut off when their time was up. Most agreed the forum was slapped together and poorly organized. Nothing much was accomplished. .

The gathering offered a pointed contrast to the thousands of Tea Party members who rallied on the St. Paul Capitol lawn on tax day and at the Minneapolis Convention center for the Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin rally in April. During session, Tea Partiers showed up in droves to events to talk about the Constitution, their fiscal conservative values and their inevitable impact on the November elections. The Tea Party Express even parked its bus on the St. Paul Capitol’s front steps to announce the creation of a National Tea Party Federation. Nationally, the group is proving its power with major upsets in several state primary elections.

But insurgency rumblings have quieted in Minnesota. Two of the more visible Tea Party candidates running in state GOP primaries – Rudy Takala in Pine County and Kerry Stoick in Dodge County – went down to the party’s establishment candidates, and the media blitz has all but disappeared.

“Their influence has waned throughout the summer,” said Darin Broton, a DFL political analyst. “They are not as vocal and as loud as they were during the session. They’re not going to have much of an influence at all on elections if they stay this quiet in the next seven weeks. If they are on the ground, you’re not feeling it.”

A longtime Republican operative has the same feeling. “They are not organized and they have no clear leader. There is no cohesive structure for them statewide,” the source said. “I just don’t see them making a big difference.”

Realistic expectations

The face behind the Tea Party’s springtime gusto was Toni Backdahl, coordinator for the Minnesota Tea Party Patriots. She organized the tax day rally and coordinated events across the state. But she resigned from the position this summer, saying she feared the Republican Party was infiltrating Tea Party ranks.

A new group formed in its wake at the end of August. The Minnesota North Star Tea Party Patriots aims to be the umbrella organization that unites dozens of fragmented groups around the state and coordinates their efforts when possible, spokesman Walter Hudson said. The coalition is affiliated with the national Tea Party Patriots organization.

The new group has raised the Tea Party’s profile slightly in recent weeks. Organizers are promoting Tea Party events in Rochester and Forest Lake, and recently held a potluck in Maple Grove that brought out legislative candidates, Hudson said. But Hudson admits that the election is closing in and the new group is still in the “gathering the chicks under the wing phase.”

“There’s definitely been a conversation in our group on how realistic it is to expect to have a substantial effect on this year’s election,” Hudson said. “I don’t think it’s the end-all, be-all for us to talk about elections. They are important and we are putting what effort we can within our sphere of influence, but it serves no one any good to try and exaggerate that sphere and our expectations.”

Hudson said the group is trying to narrow its efforts by focusing on important issues that get lost in the political fray. That includes election reform and judicial candidates. The group has locked down a forum at the end of September that will gather 24 candidates running for a judge slot in the 10th judicial district.

Gregg Peppin, a longtime GOP activist now working for P2B Strategies, said he sees Tea Party members playing a modest – albeit still important – role in certain legislative races. Peppin said it’s possible that Tea Party momentum could help to tip the scales in several legislative districts where past races have been decided by less than 100 votes.

There are few explicit Tea Party candidates running for the Legislature after Takala and Stoick went down in the primary. Several GOP election operatives say there are no so-called Tea Party candidates left, although Senate District 10 Republican candidate Gretchen Hoffman and GOP House District 11B candidate Mary Franson have been known to attend the group’s events.

In the three-way gubernatorial race, Broton said the Tea Party has already played a role in the nomination of Republican state Rep. Tom Emmer at the state convention. With Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin’s last-minute endorsement of his candidacy and a new energized party base latching onto Emmer’s fiery stump presence, he was propelled to victory in only two ballots over the GOP’s establishment favorite, state Rep. Marty Seifert.

The group’s visibility in the state’s gubernatorial race has waned, however. Toni Backdahl said the Emmer team has tried to take over and capitalize on the state’s Tea Party movement, but has been unsuccessful because of the group’s fragmented nature.

“Team Emmer has been really aggressive from the start and they were throwing barrels and nails on my path to start this grassroots movement,” she said. “They were undermining me every step of the way.”

“Tea parties are a mixed bag group of people who have flocked to Tom on the fiscal-related issues,” said Emmer campaign spokesman Carl Kuhl. “The main issues people have are about the federal debt, and that really resonates with Tom’s message that government needs to live within its means.” Kuhl said Emmer isn’t attending Tea Party rallies and the campaign isn’t specifically reaching out to Tea Party groups.

A leave-me-alone movement

It’s also hard to build a cohesive movement around the movement’s abiding individualism and distrust of institutions. Many Tea Party groups refuse to endorse political candidates or participate in talk of electoral politics for fear of tying themselves to anything connected to the “overbearing” government.

Writer Mark Lilla claims the Tea Party phenomenon is something new in the annals of American populist movements. In a New York Review of Books piece titled “The Tea Party Jacobins,” he wrote:

“Historically, populist movements use the rhetoric of class solidarity to seize political power so that ‘the people’ can exercise it for their common benefit. American populist rhetoric does something altogether different today. It fires up emotions by appealing to individual opinion, individual autonomy, and individual choice, all in the service of neutralizing, not using, political power. It gives voice to those who feel they are being bullied, but this voice has only one, Garbo-like thing to say: I want to be left alone.”

Tea Party activists, many of them political newcomers, want the government out of their health care, out of their businesses and out of their personal lives. (In some cases, they even want the government to stay out of government: CD8 congressional candidate George Burton, an independent with Tea Party sympathies, is proposing cuts in the time lawmakers actually spend inside Capitol walls.)

Generally, “Tea Party” opinions vary from state to state and group to group on issues like gay marriage and immigration.

“The Tea Party is trying to transition from being a social protest group into a political force, and that’s always difficult,” noted David Schultz, political pundit and professor at Hamline University. “What makes it especially difficult for them is, on some levels, they may be defined more by what they are against than are what they are for.”

Ian Marsh, who is working on House GOP caucus elections, sees this “hands-off” theme as something the GOP in Minnesota can tap into. Marsh says Republican’s message of smaller government, lower taxes, and less federal spending aligns most closely with the messages of the Tea Party.

The lesser of two evils

While candidates were speaking at the North Branch forum, several Tea Party devotees hovered nearby, grumbling about how Democrats have labeled the group as Republican, and how Republicans just assume they will have Tea Party support in November.

“We are sick and tired of the parties of the good old boys,” said North Branch resident Mark Koran. “It’s just a selection of the lesser of two evils. They should just put ‘none of the above’ on the ballot.”

Their ideal candidate is what Koran and others called a “constitutional conservative,” or someone who follows in lock step with their view of the country’s founding documents. Tea Party purists have described themselves as dejected dropouts from across the political spectrum: recovering Republicans, disenchanted Democrats, libertarians, or those who have been “politically uninterested” – as one North Branch resident put it – until now.

But in Minnesota, all candidates associated with the Tea Party have either sought the GOP’s endorsement or mounted runs in Republican primaries. Some observers think Tea Partiers are just more-active-than-usual Republicans, spurred to action by widespread dissatisfaction with the stimulus package, the federal health care bill and the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama.

Peppin argues that the Republican Party and the Tea Party have a cooperative “synergy” in Minnesota that you don’t find in other states across the country. Tea Party favorites Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Carl Paladino in New York recently took down Republican establishment candidates in primary elections. Many see the group nationally as bucking the traditional Grand Old Party. That’s not the case in Minnesota, Peppin said, partly because of the state GOP’s open caucus system.

Broton believes that the Tea Party is just a particularly active portion of the Republican Party base in Minnesota. “They are people who typically vote Republican, but the Tea Party movement has organized a fringe part of their base to show up this year,” he said. “It’s really always been about Republican politics.”

Takala, who started a Tea Party-friendly political action committee called Simply Right after losing the Aug. 10 primary, said the Tea Party movement hasn’t been as widespread in Minnesota because the state is more liberal than others and there isn’t a national race to spark interest. Takala sees the national spirit of the Tea Party coming to Minnesota by 2012, when high-profile Senate and presidential races will be on the ballot. This year in Minnesota, he sees the Tea Party slightly boosting the vote total for Republicans.

“I think that these types of movements are great for increasing the conservative vote at least a bit in Minnesota,” he said. “That’s all you can really hope for in a year like this.”

The most crowded primary in state history?

Politics in Minnesota – Ever since nine candidates signed up to run in the DFL primary in Senate District 67, PIM’s been trying to pin down the largest such field in state history. With the help of Robbie LaFleur at the Legislative Reference Library, we thought the puzzle had been solved: Matt Dean survived a 10-candidate state House primary to win the GOP nomination in 2003. (Somehow he even managed to get more than 50 percent of the vote.)

But Republican campaign guru Gregg Peppin, who runs the consulting firm P2B Strategies, points out a contest that we’d overlooked. In 1994, Tom Bakk emerged from an 11-candidate DFL primary in House District 6A. The Iron Range race was tightly contested: three other challengers — Lee Ramsdell, Bill Kosiak and Paul Kess — trailed Bakk by less than 400 votes.

Of course, Bakk went on to win a state Senate seat in 2002 and currently chairs the Taxes Committee. He also was among this year’s crowded field of DFL gubernatorial contenders.

Originally posted by Paul Demko on July 9, 2010 | Permalink

13 could be lucky number for Senate GOP

Politics in Minnesota – Caucus hopes to end a four-decade run in minority

Around convention time in the spring, Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, boasted that his caucus would retake the chamber’s majority in November. Considering Senate Republicans’ 38-year stranglehold on minority status, and the 13 seats that his troops will need to gain to make good on the pledge, it amounts to a tall order.

Republican insiders are touting a strong candidate recruiting class and a number of close 2006 contests in the 67-member chamber as reason for optimism, but a number of Republicans have their doubts about whether it will actually come to pass. One party insider told Capitol Report the Senate GOP could pick up four seats on the low end and possibly as many as 10 seats.

But longtime GOP political operative Gregg Peppin of P2B Strategies goes further: He thinks Republicans can take the full monty. “I think [a Republican takeover] is very definitely within the realm of possibility,” he said. “If you go down the map [of competitive races], the Senate [GOP] has top-tier candidates in virtually all those races.”

Senate DFL Caucus Director Mike Kennedy pointed out that the GOP has its own share of incumbents who squeaked by in the last election and will face strong DFL challengers again.

The GOP is sure to target seven seats that the DFL won by 5 percentage points or less the last time around: Sens. Mary Olson (SD 4), Lisa Fobbe (SD 16), Rick Olseen (SD 17), Ann Lynch (SD 30), John Doll (SD 40), Terri Bonoff (SD 43) and Leo Foley (SD 47).

Six other DFL incumbents won in 2006 by 10 points or less: Sens. Kevin Dahle (SD 25), the retiring Steve Murphy (SD 28), Jim Carlson (SD 38), Don Betzold (SD 51), Sandy Rummel (SD 53), and Kathy Saltzman (SD 56).

Conversely, though, five current GOP senators won by 5 percent or less in 2006: Bill Ingebrigtsen (SD 11), Joe Gimse (SD 13), David Hann (SD 42), Michael Jungbauer (SD 48), Ray Vandeveer (SD 52), and Debbie Johnson (SD 49) who is not running for re-election. While those races may have tightened because of the unpopularity of the Bush Administration at the time, it’s far from certain that the GOP will hold on to all of its incumbent seats. While those districts lean Republican in most cases, DFLers are touting candidates like Ham Lake Mayor Paul Meunier.

Observers from both sides of the aisle have noted that the GOP has fielded a formidable candidate in suburban newspaper executive Ted Lillie, who is challenging Saltzman. (Lillie’s brother, Leon, is a DFL rep from North St. Paul.) Republicans are likewise touting another candidate from the business community, Roger Chamberlain, who is a senior corporate tax accountant with Amerprise Financial in Minneapolis. Chamberlain is challenging Rummel.

Republicans have also put up two former legislators in Sean Nienow, who’s set for a rematch with Olseen, and former Rep. Carla Nelson, who is challenging Lynch.

One factor to watch: the Senate Republicans’ reshuffled campaign elite. Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, has won plaudits for the job she’s done since taking the lead role in candidate recruitment. The caucus has also brought Norm Coleman Senate campaign manager Cullen Sheehan on board as chief of staff.

For a complete rundown of House and Senate districts where DFLers won by 10 points or less in the last cycle, see the chart on page 2 of this issue.

Notes from the trail

In its rundown of 2010 state legislative races, the national magazine Governing predicts the DFL will likely retain control of both houses of the Minnesota Legislature. But the mag’s analysis deems it plausible that the GOP could return to power, particularly in the House:

“The Democrats are still favored to hold both chambers in Minnesota, but amid much angst over the state’s fiscal situation, a shift of control — especially in the House — isn’t out of the question. A determining factor could be how much blame voters place on the Democrats as opposed to outgoing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.” Republicans need a net pickup of 21 seats to assume control in the House….

In a heated GOP primary battle in District 29A, the candidate who is challenging the endorsed candidate could be vulnerable to sniping about a bankruptcy in her past.

Kerry Stoick, who is challenging the party’s chosen candidate, Duane Quam, was open with delegates about her foreclosure during the convention and said she has worked to correct her financial affairs, according to a GOP source.

“I was very honest about it in my endorsement campaign,” Stoick averred to Capitol Report, and she added that she does not expect her opponent to try to make a campaign issue of the bankruptcy.

Whether the foreclosure will turn into political baggage remains to be seen. A story last month in the Rochester Post Bulletin about the 29A primary race didn’t refer to Stoick’s bankruptcy. But it’s nonetheless registering on some people’s radar: A commenter on the site alluded to the bankruptcy issue and added that Stoick “should solve the money management issue.”

There are a couple of fundraisers in the offing to benefit legislative candidates in hotly contested races in Eagan. District 38, on the south side of the Minnesota River, is represented entirely by DFLers. That’s a switch from 2004, when the GOP controlled the entire suburban district.

On Monday Ted Daley, who is running against Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, will raise money at the Eagan home of Sandy and Gary Wiese. Contributions are $50 per person and $80 per couple. Diane Anderson, who is challenging Rep. Sandy Masin, DFL-Eagan, will raise money Tuesday at Granite City Food and Brewery. Minority Leader Kurt Zellers and conservative bloggers and radio hosts Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey are expected to attend. On Thursday, Senate President Jim Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, and Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, are holding a fundraiser for Masin at the home of Eagan City Council member Meg Tilley….

Not only are people writing lots of checks in Eagan, they’re also planting lots of campaign lawn signs. Apparently too many, at least for the tastes of Mayor Mike Maguire. The Pioneer Press quotes Maguire as saying the signs are “real visual noise out here in the suburbs.” He’s asking candidates to pledge to forego campaign lawn signs until Labor Day….

There are few races in which candidates’ notable names precede them as emphatically as in the District 57 Senate race in the suburbs south of St. Paul. The area is represented by state Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport. She comes from a local political dynasty that includes her father, former Rep. Mike Sieben, and her uncle, former House Speaker Harry Sieben, Jr.

Sieben is being challenged by a name that is also famous, especially to those in the hockey-loving suburbs. Karin Housley will be the Republican on the ballot in November. Her husband, Hall of Fame hockey player Phil Housley, is the second-leading scorer in NHL history and is considered the peer of legendary defensemen like Chris Chellios and Ray Borque. Perhaps fortunately for Sieben, Housley coaches high school hockey outside the district in Stillwater….

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the members of the DFL-dominated City Council will hold a fundraiser for the House DFL Caucus on Monday. The event at Sweeney’s Saloon in St. Paul will feature eight members of St. Paul’s legislative delegation. Suggested contributions are $100, $250 and $500.

When reporters ask campaigns and caucus officials for the final tally of money collected at fundraisers, they almost always decline to be specific. So it was unusual when GOP candidate Tim Utz said in an e-mail that he raised $1,300 at a fundraiser in Columbia Heights attended by GOP gubernatorial endorsee Tom Emmer. Utz is running in House District 50A against incumbent DFL Rep. Carolyn Laine.

Originally posted by Charlie Shaw on July 9, 2010 | Permalink

Republicans Outnumber Democrats in Minnesota

Smart Politics – Republicans Outnumber Democrats in Minnesota for First Time Since 2005

Study of nearly 70 SurveyUSA polls finds GOP holding first party ID advantage since October 2005; percentage of Minnesotans identifying as Republicans at highest level ever recorded by polling organization.

The first SurveyUSA poll of the Minnesota gubernatorial horserace in 2010 turned heads this weekend with Republican Party endorsee Tom Emmer jumping out of the gate with eight-point leads over DFL- endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former DFL U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, and an 11-point lead over former DFL legislator Matt Entenza.

Beneath the headline, however, is perhaps an even more telling story – Republicans have now eclipsed Democrats in party identification for the first time in the Gopher State since 2005.

A Smart Politics analysis of 68 SurveyUSA polls conducted since May 2005 finds that the 36 to 35 percent advantage Republicans hold over Democrats in the new poll (conducted May 3-5 of 588 likely voters) is the first time the GOP has held such an advantage in SurveyUSA polling since October 2005 (when the GOP held a 29 to 28 percent advantage and 41 percent identifying as independents).

No other polling firm has surveyed Minnesotans more than SurveyUSA during this span.

The 36 percent level reached by Minnesota Republicans is also the largest ever notched by the GOP in the Gopher State across the nearly 70 polls conducted by SurveyUSA during these five years (polls which have alternately sampled adults, registered voters, and likely voters).

The previous high recorded for the Republican Party by SurveyUSA in Minnesota was 35 percent in the organization’s inaugural monthly tracking poll in May 2005.

The GOP had previously eclipsed the 30 percent mark in party ID only 12 times during this five-year stretch and just 5 times out of the 48 polls conducted in Minnesota since 2007.

Republican Party ID had slipped to 23 percent in early March of this year – three weeks before the high profile health care vote in Washington D.C.

The record highs reached by the Republican Party in the new SurveyUSA poll give pause to one of the themes running through the media this election season – that the politically disgruntled American public is equally disgusted with both major parties.

If this were to be true, it would surely be a boon to newly endorsed Independence Party candidate Tom Horner. Horner polled at 9 and 10 percent in the horserace matchups against Emmer and the three DFL hopefuls.

However, the new SurveyUSA poll finds only 24 percent of Minnesotans identifying as a political independents.

The percentage of Minnesotans identifying as independents has gradually been on the decline, according to a Smart Politics analysis of SurveyUSA data.

Independents comprised a plurality of 36.3 percent of Minnesotans across eight polls in 2005, dropping to 28.5 percent across 12 polls in 2006, 28.0 percent across 16 polls in 2007, 25.7 percent across 20 polls in 2008, and 25.7 percent across 10 polls in 2009.

Originally posted by Eric Ostermeier on May 9, 2010 10:37 PM | Permalink