A recent poll conducted by researchers at St. Cloud State University suggests that voters are sharply divided along partisan lines heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Respondent attitudes on hot-button issues like abortion, immigration, and K-12 curriculum differed by 60 percent or more between Democrats and Republicans and job approval ratings for President Joseph Biden and Governor Tim Walz were more sharply opposed than ever.
In the case of President Biden, not a single Republican in the sample approved of his job performance, while 69 percent of Democrats rated him as either “excellent” or “pretty good.” At the state level, Governor Walz enjoyed the approval of 83 percent of Democrats, but only 6 percent of Republicans.
Overall, President Biden only has a 36 percent favorable view among Minnesotans, which is lower than the 38 percent Trump received by the same survey in 2020.
Of the Minnesotans surveyed, the most important state and national issues are the economy/inflation, with crime and partisan division rounding out the top three.
The results for election preferences in the races for Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State suggest an advantage of 16, 12, and 15 percent, respectively, for the Democrats, but the researchers caution that the unusually large margin-of-error (+/- 8 percent), coupled with high non-response rates from conservative Republicans, render those findings unreliable.
“If Minnesotans vote in response to their national party evaluations, then it seems likely that the Republicans will win most of these races,” said Jim Cottrill, Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the SCSU Survey. “If, on the other hand, they vote based on their stronger evaluation of Governor Walz’s leadership, then the Democratic lead we see in the three top races may not be entirely a mirage.”
Responses for the survey were gathered from 235 randomly-selected landline and cellphone adult users October 10-30, 2022 as part of the 42nd annual Fall Survey of Minnesota Adults conducted by the St. Cloud State Survey Research Center. See the full report on the St. Cloud State Repository for the complete methodology and findings.