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New poll: Dayton is ahead; Horner gets no bump when voters offered ranked-choice option

Even if Minnesota had Ranked Choice Voting, Mark Dayton appears to be ahead in the race for governor, a new poll suggests.

One version of the conventional wisdom is that a significant chunk of voters are drawn to Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, but unwilling to vote for him because they don't believe he can win.

If that's true, and if respondents understood Ranked Choice Voting when it was explained to them, a poll question allowing voters to rank their choices should have freed up those wasted-vote worriers to express their preference for Horner. But it didn't happen.

The poll, taken by St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and partially sponsored by MinnPost, suggests that if the election was conducted (as it will be) by the traditional plurality-vote-wins system, Dayton leads among likely voters as follows:

Dayton: 40 percent
Emmer: 30 percent
Horner: 19 percent
Other, don't know, refused: 11 percent


Race for governor

Source: St. Cloud State University poll partially sponsored by MinnPost

Note: The poll results above of likely voters are based on live telephone interviews — including cell phone users — with 628 Minnesotans, of whom 462 were rated as likely voters. The interviews were conducted Oct. 10-21. The range of sampling error is +/- 5 percentage points. Numbers are rounded, so some do not add to 100 percent.


That is consistent with several recent polls that have shown Dayton with a commanding lead, although there have been others that show Dayton with a lead of five percentage points or fewer. There has never been a poll in which Horner ranked higher than third or broke through the 20 percent barrier.

The results are broadly similar, but certainly not identical, to the other most recent public poll on the race published in the Sunday Star Tribune. The Strib had Dayton seven percentage points (41-34) and has Horner down to 13.

In this SCSU poll, Dayton led Emmer among every major age group, region or demographic category, even the wealthiest Minnesotans, whose taxes Dayton wants to raise, gave him a plurality. Dayton's lead of 52-29 over Emmer among women (with Horner at 19) was a key to his commanding position.

But this poll also included an explanation of Ranked Choice Voting, then asked respondents to say who their first and second choices would be if Minnesota had that system. The first choices broke down (these numbers are rounded, so they don't add to 100 percent):

Dayton: 39
Emmer: 30
Horner: 19
Other, don't know, refused: 13

Another co-sponsor of the poll was FairVote Minnesota, the group that has been pushing for an expansion of Ranked Choice Voting (RVC). Under RCV (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) voters are allowed to indicate their first, second, third preference on the ballot. If no candidate is ranked as the first choice on a majority of ballots, the lower-finishing candidates votes are assigned to the voter's second (and, if necessary, third, fourth, etc.) choice until someone amasses a majority.

The surprise here, at least to me, is that Horner gets no bump when voters are offered the ranked choice option.

Under RCV, If Dayton and Emmer were the top two candidates, those who gave first preference to Horner or someone else would be assigned to their second choice. This poll corroborates what some other polls have shown, that based on second preferences, Horner appears to be taking more votes from Emmer than from Dayton. But not by a huge margin.

If we reassign the votes to the second choice of those whose first choice was Horner or other, and throw out the votes of those who didn't give a second choice (which is what would happen under RCV), the horserace looks like this:

Dayton: 46
Emmer: 39

(If you must know, the missing percentage represents voters in the Don't Know camp, or those who expressed two preferences other than Dayton or Emmer. Under RCV, they would also be allowed to express a third choice. But the poll couldn't pick up who that choice would be and we have excluded them from the percentages just above.)

Horner's leaners
This poll also asked everyone who expressed a first preference for Dayton, Emmer or Horner whether they had made a definite decision or were just leaning. The finding on this one is especially interesting to those who wonder about the impact of strategic voting considerations in a three-way race.

While 60 percent of Dayton supporters and 59 percent of Emmer supporters said they definitely planned to vote that way, just 28 percent of Horner voters said so, while 72 percent said they only leaned toward him.

My best guess is that this is where the strategic voters are located. These may be voters who won't finally decide to vote for Horner until they see some evidence, presumably in a poll other than this one, that Horner has a reasonable chance to win. If they never see that evidence, some of them will bail on Horner and choose whichever of the top two candidates they consider to be the lesser evil.

There are, of course, fresh bombs being thrown into the race almost every day in an effort to shake things up. But the polling since June (!) suggests a fairly stable race with Dayton ahead in about a dozen polls taken by five different polling organizations. (This is the first of the season for SCSU, which is known for its annual fall survey.)

We should take each poll with appropriate dashes of salt, including this one. But the breakdown here does suggest that Emmer's shrinking hopes depend on not only gaining a supermajority of the remaining undecideds, but also on Horner fading in the stretch and Emmer picking up most of the late defectors.

I did ask the St. Cloud pollsters to take a special look at the Horner leaners (assuming that they are the next best thing that Emmerites can find to an additional cache of undecideds). It's just 12 percent of the total sample, far too small a subgroup to be statistically significant. But, judging by whom that group listed as their second choice, they are almost equally divided between Dayton second choicers and Emmer second choicers.

Pawlenty vs. Obama
The poll asked for approval ratings for both President Obama and Gov. Tim Pawlenty. It's been a rough year for most incumbents and this was no exception. Pawlenty's approval rating was 41 percent, down from about 50 percent a year ago when SCSU asked the same question. Obama got an excellent or good rating 38 percent of Minnesotans, also down from about half a year ago.

For the second year in a row, the St. Cloud poll also asked whom Minnesotans would support for president if it was a choice between Obama and Pawlenty in 2012. Last year, Obama won 49-40. This year, Obama still wins, but now only by 45-40.

The SCSU poll is also known for its thermometer question, in which they ask for a temperature reading of the respondents feelings toward various figures, with 50 being neutral, zero terrible and 100 very warm.

These are some of this year's average temperature readings:

Horner: 50 (but almost a quarter of respondents didnt know the name or had no opinion of him)
Dayton: 48.
Emmer: 45.

Obama: 49 (down from 58 a year ago).
Pawlenty: 46 (down from 53).
Sarah Palin: 38 (but same as last year).

Back to Ranked Choice
A 60 percent majority of respondents said they had never heard of Ranked Choice Voting before the poll. When they were asked (after the system had been explained to them) whether they would like to use the system, the result was:

No: 48.5.
Yes: 34.
Don't Know: 17.5

The poll was based on live telephone interviews — including cell phone users — with 628 Minnesotans, of whom 462 were rated as likely voters. The interviews were conducted Oct. 10-21. The range of sampling error is +/- 5 percentage points.

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Comments (51)

Dayton is ahead. Three wonderful words to read on this day.

Interesting that a majority didn't like RCV. You'd think people would prefer a system that provides them with greater choice?

"In this SCSU poll, Dayton led Emmer among every major age group, region or demographic category, even the wealthiest Minnesotans, whose taxes Dayton wants to raise, gave him a plurality."

Turn out the lights, the party's over...

Minnesotans seem to finally be waking up. After 8 years of the Pawlenty regime, we will finally have a governor who can see something beyond "cut taxes" and emasculate government. Dayton looks at the whole and will try to build Minnesota back up to its former high standing in education, health care, and general good government and governance.

Ginny: What I find sad is that you're probably quite sincere whn you talk about "good government..." When will people realize that the answer to improving this state is NOT a bigger government? I simply do not understand how you think expanding governemnt spending will send us all to the promised land...

So what were the results if Rank Choice Voting was in effect (throwing out the 3rd place finisher and recounting)?

TJ, where in Ginny's remarks do you find the word "big"? It's frauds like you that can't think beyond no taxes. That's leadership? That's policy? Most people agree that money alone can't solve problems. Unfortunately, you and your ilk can't get beyond the "no money solves problems" mantra.

From the article:

If we reassign the votes to the second choice of those whose first choice was Horner or other, and throw out the votes of those who didn't give a second choice (which is what would happen under RCV), the horserace looks like this:

Dayton: 46
Emmer: 39

The idea isn't to "expand" government (a tired old saw if there ever was one), but to restore it to functioning status.

TJ: It depends on what you are spending money for? Education? An educated populace is needed to make a state (and country) prosperous. So is a healthy population. And a state in which people can safely drive over bridges and on highways and roads. And have an adequate court system. And etc. etc..
Big government is not the goal. Good government that meets the needs of all residents is.
There are facts. Minnesota as the 'state that works' back in the 70s and 80s. Other states like Alabama. Our own last 8 years of decline--in state and country.
.

You know, polls aside, there's no chance that Dayton is going to win. But there is a part of me that finds the thought of a Governor Dayton somewhat appealing.

When Jimmy Carter was bumbling his way through his tenure, people responded to his continued failure with good humor...what else could they do but laugh?

So it is today.

We're in the midst of a colossal economic meltdown being made worse by an utterly incompetent President and a bumbling Democrat congress.

Next year promises at least two high profile corruption trials for two crooked Democrat politicians (Waters and Rangel), as well as the overdue House investigation into what really caused the economic collapse.

We'll need something to lighten up with....toss in Mark Dayton, and you've added the prospect of some real hilarity!

Seriously, if the GOP had a nice majority in the legislature, I'd consider Dayton just for the fun in it.

RealClearPolitics calls this race a toss-up.
==============================================
RCP Average 10/11 - 10/21 -- Dayton +5.0
Star Tribune 10/18 - 10/21 -- Dayton +7
Rasmussen Reports 10/20 -- Dayton +3
SurveyUSA 10/11 - 10/3 -- Dayton +5

I suppose if they used this MinnPost/SCSU poll in their averaging, they wouldn't be calling it a toss-up.

Cecil,

This survey response is not surprising given that education about Ranked Choice Voting has primarily been focused in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where RCV has been adopted for municipal elections.

Preference for using RCV increases rapidly among those who are familiar with it. More than half (52%) of the SCSU respondents who are very familiar with RCV indicate that they would like to us it. In contrast, 35% of those only somewhat familiar and 23% of those not familiar with RCV would like to use it. Double the share of respondents in the metro area prefer RCV over those in the non metro area.

A FairVote MN poll taken in Minneapolis in 2006 that showed that voters who knew about RCV were seven times more likely to support it. More than 60 percent of Minneapolis voters and more than 50 percent of St. Paul voted YES for RCV for city elections following strong voter education programs.

FairVote Minnesota will be providing some additional analysis of the SCSU poll on its website at www.fairvotemn.org.

Interesting piece, Eric. Like a couple others, I’m surprised by the relative lack of movement when RCV is introduced. I’d have expected Horner to gain considerably more than appears to be the case. But it’s only a poll, so a dash or two of salt is necessary, and we’re still more than a week out from Election Day.

Mr. Swift’s specialty is insult, but when reading insults, it’s useful to consider the source.

True, we’re in the midst of an economic crisis, but it began under the Bush watch, and in fact, the major portions of the strategy to alleviate the crisis were at least begun under the Bush regime, so if TARP and aid to Detroit auto companies are regarded as “bumbling,” perhaps those on the right might look – unpleasant as it might seem – at their own.

I, too, look forward to the corruption hearings for Waters and Rangel. If we’re lucky – and we’ll need mountains of luck if Republicans regain control of the House – similar hearings will take place wherein the Wall Street thieves who – with the aid and encouragement of quite a number of Republicans – brought about the current economic disaster are given the label of "thieves" they so richly deserve. Foreclosure fraud run rampant while contributing heavily to the reelection campaigns of Republicans who railed against the bailout that saved their miserable hides is merely the latest in a decades-long string of examples of the moral bankruptcy of “big” capitalism and its allies on the right.

Obama’s mistake, admittedly made very early, was not in assuming that solving problems was a legitimate role of government. His mistake was in assuming that problem-solving was something that the “loyal opposition” in Congress would be willing to work toward. There was a time when that might have been the case, but that has manifestly NOT been the case recently, as the current Republican “Party of ‘No’ ” seems interested only in ideological litmus tests, not in governing.

The current governor’s race is a nice illustration of that in action. I’ve no idea if Mr. Swift’s prediction is correct about the electoral outcome, but if it is, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, since I’ve not read anything suggesting that the majority of legislators coming to St. Paul will share Mr. Emmer’s philosophy. Ideologues, both left and right, are generally unhappy as politicians, since politics (that is, governing) requires compromise among competing interests, and ideologues, true believers that they are, generally loathe the very idea of compromise. We have examples of that, too, among the commentators.

Hey editors I am finding Thomas Swift's recent (Sat. and today) remarks on Dayton frankly apalling. If he talked that way in many corporate offices he would be fired or at least sent to HR and told to clean up his act. All this cowpucky about illnesses, to be honest Emmer himself does not look too healthy.

"Mr. Swift’s specialty is insult, but when reading insults, it’s useful to consider the source."

Before we consider the source, may we consider the grammar and syntax?

My specialty isn't "insult"; it's not "to insult" either, but at least that is correct use of the language. Best syntax would be "Mr. Swift has made the insult his specialty.", but that's not factual either.

The insult serves no useful purpose Ray, and I'm a very purposeful fellow.

In truth, my goal (I don't know if I'd call it a specialty) may be accurately described as "instruction through derision".

I deride because I care, Ray.

***Bookmarking Mr. Swift's comment for review on Nov. 3.

"No chance" Dayton will win? Really - no chance? He's been ahead in every poll throughout the race. No chance? That's a bit silly, don't you think? I mean, polls aside, you know Mpls, St. Paul, Duluth and the Range are a lock for him, even before the race began. No chance? An example of cognitive dissonance, perhaps. Objective reality does not match Mr. Swift's belief system, so objective reality must be wrong. If the polls (any of them, even one, even a repub poll) showed Emmer ahead, Mr. Swift would trumpet them.

Well, we'll see. I can hardly wait to read the twisted logic on display after Dayton wins.

As long as we're talking about corruption hearings, let do what the UN is urging us to do: investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for the torture policies of this government. That includes all the lawyers. I think Wall Street executives should be investigated, as well. Let's uncover (although I don't think we can prosecute) those corporate heads (especially the ones who received bailouts) who send jobs overseas. Or have their HQs in some tax-free space. Let's investigate why Alito and Thomas went to a party funded by Koch brothers. Isn't against the law? Theyre emerging into the open now, as we are finding who who funded the investigation and lawsuit in the Citizens United case.

Ray--
Mr. Swift knows that the Bushes were left-wing RINO's (it's called beating the Bushes) and so their actions are really Obama's responsibility.
It's called 'logical reasoning'.

IMO the worst offense of pollsters is to mire us in the status quo. When a promising third party candidate is seen to be pulling in 7% or so of the vote, people figure "what's the point", and go on to vote for the lesser of two evils, and inevitably the 3rd party candidate ends up with more like 1-2% from their hardcore base, instead of being able to build some momentum. The polls anoint "legitimate" candidates well before the point at which an election should be decided.

Swift gives us nothing to respond to because there really is no actual sensible argument that follows evidence and reason.
Since we cannot really respond to ts, I think that's what we should do--not respond. Just gives him airs.

Amen, Ginny (#18) But ALSO:

Let's investigate Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the neocons who lied to Congress and to us to "justify" our invasion of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Three thousand Americans died that day, but because of these neocon lies there are now over a million dead Iraqis -- many of them civilians -- and two million or so who are refugees. We have pretty much destroyed their infrastructure but, hey, look at the wonderful city-sized embassy we've built to protect visiting oilmen.

It is definitely not time to "just move on" without making the war criminals among us accept responsibility for what they have done. And spend the rest of their lives in jail.

Republicans will admit that the state needs a new direction. the captain of the ship has been a Republican for 8 years. A new direction that is the same as the old is no direction at all.

@ Dan B. You've got a valid point (though I've always wondered whether MinnPost allowed some of TS's points to stay online for sheer "what the heck?!" value).

It's one week to Election Day and lively comment, spirited debate and passionate convictions are at their height. I'm fine with that. But I do detect a hint of the anonymous commenter mentality creeping in -- those comments usually reserved for people, full of bravado, who identify themselves pseudonymously in order to attack others. I've been in those crosshairs -- a real fun experience being the target of a poster who attacked me saying it was my own fault because of the ideology he assigned to me. (On the other hand, a lot of people who know me are greatly enjoying the on-going guffaws resulting from the notion that I take my talking points from the likes of Beck and Limbaugh. MinnPost, you've created a lot of giggles in a time when we need them most.)

Count me among those who want MinnPost to be vibrant. And when it comes to policy, go for it. But please -- especially in the volatile next seven days -- please, MinnPost, bear in mind your own policy against "personal attacks, snideness, or gratuitous insult of the intelligence or character of fellow commenters and others, or the use of language that may be libelous or interpreted as inciting hate or sexual harassment." (The fact that you allowed a poster to address a female poster as "babe" indicates a little slippage is taking place.)

And, count me among those who think MinnPost is great.

Richard, I think the point of the Ranked Choice Voting question was to see whether Horner is hurt by "lesser evil" voting and poll-based determinations of candidates' legitimacy. What the results show is that the problem isn't the polls - rather, it is that voters simply don't want Tom Horner. And its not just that people don't know
Horner. They actually dislike him - he has the highest negatives of the three candidates.

Horner wasn't a promising third party candidate. He was an absolute non-starter and guaranteed loser from day one.

@#9 ... Thank you. That was excellent, well put, succinct, and accurate!

@#16 - "I deride because I care ...."
What kind of warped thing is that to say? Mr. Swift, are you being gregarious with your derision? To quote a least quotable guy (*), "Yikes!" ______________________________________________
(*)... And that was Tim Pawlenty in the latest MinnClips video.

You have a good point Dan.

Senator Dayton's scheme to tax the rich certainly has resonated with quite a few folks. The Senator and his supporters must believe that by taxing the rich, this alone will solve the states deep fiscal problems. Yay, ponies for everyone. Clearly, no one wants to share in the burden of contributing to the solution by paying more taxes. “Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree.”

This belief system is shared by conservatives that demand cuts in spending as long as it doesn't involve entitlements or military spending.

As disappointing as it may be, I get your point Dan. Electoral politics is poison for real efforts at fiscal reform.

"Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree" is the game that's been played by King Timmy for the past eight years, at least when it comes to the wealthiest citizens of the state.

As recent studies have made clear, they've been massively successful at reducing their own tax burden, as a percentage of the proceeds of each hour they work, and this at a time when their incomes were soaring into the stratosphere.

Still, according the results of this poll, even the majority of THOSE wealthy citizens are in favor of Dayton, which leads me to believe that the "Taxpayers League," and King Timmy's no-tax wing of the Republican Party are representative of no one but a small-but-powerful minority of individuals whose oppositional/defiant disorder makes it impossible for them to accept it when even the wisest, most well-meaning people attempt to tell them what to do (let alone the state and federal government telling them the MUST pay taxes).

We all know these people. They come to city council meetings, county board meetings, church board meetings, and complain about all the money that's being wasted, and all the regulations they're required to follow, but when they need anything from any of those entities, they're the first to complain bitterly about how their needs aren't being met (even while demanding that everyone else pay the bill).

Richard: //The Senator and his supporters must believe that by taxing the rich, this alone will solve the states deep fiscal problems.

Your faux conjecture is obviously disingenuous. Surely you know that you can go to Dayton's website and look at his budget proposal, it's been on display for months now (and it was the first detailed budget proposal presented by any candidate). It's the only one that has been evaluated by the state finance departement. It has always applied a combination of tax hikes and budget cuts. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that anyone who surmises that Dayton and his supporters would rely on taxes hikes alone is being willfully ignorant at this point. Dayton's plan has always applied a combination of taxes and savings.

Richard:

As Greg and Paul point out, your description of Dayton's plans is both oversimplified and wrong. But if you are going to accuse Dayton of "don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree" you need to do the same for Horner. The difference for Horner, though, is that the "you" and "me" are the wealthy, and the "man behind the tree" is the poor and middle class. Under Horner's plan, the wealthy don't share in the "shared" sacrifice.

Mr. Swift's MO is well known by now to regular readers...

No chance Dayton will win?

A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour.

Jonathan Swift

Bickering aside, what is perhaps most interesting about this poll is that nearly 60% of projected voters are supporting candidates who are proposing tax increases. Only 30% are supporting the candidate who'd still pushing the illogical 'no new taxes, ever' policy.

After the budget shenanigans of the Pawlenty administration, it seems that Minnesotans are welcoming the idea that government costs money, government is worthwhile, and that we're better off with a functioning, properly funded government than without. Seeing that gives me great satisfaction & optimism that we'll pull through this period of irrational obtuseness.

Dan and Paul, are you claiming that Senator Dayton will find 2 billion dollars in budget cuts in order to fill the "hole" in his budget projections? Or will he simply continue Governor Pawlenty's policy of borrowing from schools in order to balance the budget?

Well played Bill.

For sheer disruptive value, no uncle who hogs the gravy can match Mr. Swift.

"Borrowing from schools" is one of the last things that Senator Dayton would do. He has always emphasized how important education is for our kids and our state. I believe he will do everything he can to make sure funding for education is stabilized and hopefully, increased if at all possible.

Debra writes
""Borrowing from schools" is one of the last things that Senator Dayton would do."

Yes, but he has also conceded that such shell games may be necessary. Which is to say that our next governor, like our current President, is going to have to work with what he has, not with what he wants. I suspect the fiasco that we know as the MN state budget is not repairable in one budget cycle.

Richard, the "hole" in Dayton's budget plan (he issued a revised plan after the initial plan was found to have a $2B "hole") is actually less than $1B. Which makes it smaller than the "hole" in Horner's budget.

http://www.mn2020hindsight.org/?p=7432

Horner's budget math is as bad as his polling math.

What makes me chuckle in all this is that so many foolish folk seem to believe that we will not ALL pay for proposed expansions of government either by direct or indirect taxes.

Dream on. We will ALL pay the piper,particularly the middle class which is the source of most income to be taxed, and the very poor who will as usual pay a disproportionate share.

Politicians always promise to protect the majority from the burdens big government incurs, but always in the end know they will have to tax the little guy to make it work.

ACORN, in its new configurations will continue to stack the deck, AFSCME will get its reward, the teachers union will get theirs, the students and citizens will continue to suffer from incompetent and inadequate services, and the politicians will declare victory as the people continue to suffer.

So it has been, so it is, and so it will continue to be, until we turn off the spigot.

Anyone not part of the benefitting elites, like myself, must just "shut up and eat my spinach", as we have always done.

//Dan and Paul, are you claiming that Senator Dayton will find 2 billion dollars in budget cuts in order to fill the "hole" in his budget projections? Or will he simply continue Governor Pawlenty's policy of borrowing from schools in order to balance the budget?

I for one make no claims on behalf of Dayton. I merely point out the fact that his budget proposal does not rely solely on tax increases as you claim. His budget plan comes the closest to closing the gap, and it's the most realistic. And Dayton is the only candidate to explicitly say he'll not cut or delay school funding. Both Emmer and Horner promise to either cut or delay school funding, as Pawlenty has.

Debra, Dayton has promised to pay off the K-12 funding shift during his first budget cycle, but he hasn't shown himself capable of balancing the state deficit before he even adds that debt; he’s leading the schools down the garden path.

Emmer, on the other hand approached the subject honestly, which allows districts to plan ahead.

Emmer's approach is what the thoughtful voter will recognize as "reality based".

Dan, you're right.

The only budget plan that balances, is Tom Emmer's.

"The only budget plan that balances, is Tom Emmer's."

Zero tax revenue & zero spending - which is to say, zero government - also balances. But there aren't very many Minnesotans who view such a 'budget' as realistic.

Or, Brian, as a positive outcome.
When people say, tax the rich, tax the other guy, they are recognizing that the rich have underpaid their taxes for years, despite the fact that they are doing very well, thank you. We know that the top 1 or 2% have about 1/3 of the total wealth of this country. We know they are slackers and have not done their share. We know that it's time for them to act like responsible citizens of this country and this state and behave like adults, and not try to take EVERYONE'S things away from them. When do we start thinking in terms of civic virtue, our social contract.
When people understood the concept of we're all in this together, the social contract, this country made huge strides (despite the attempts from the beginning of corporations to try to keep all the cards. Thomas Jefferson warned of it).
People helped each other during the depression; during WWII citizens knew we were all in this together. Many of you may not know that many things were rationed during the war--everything from food to nylons to gas. Every major advance that this country has made has been in large part because we worked together.

"Zero tax revenue & zero spending - which is to say, zero government - also balances. But there aren't very many Minnesotans who view such a 'budget' as realistic."

Well that's fine, Brian, because that's not what Emmer is calling for.

May I kindly suggest that if a position cannot be argued against honestly, it deserves further consideration?

@#38 - "What makes me chuckle in all this is that so many foolish folk seem to believe that we will not ALL pay for proposed expansions of government either by direct or indirect taxes."
-----------------------------------------------

I could very well be in the wrong ball park; but this all reminded me of W.B. Yeats' "The Great Day" ...

Hurrah for revolution and more cannon shot!
A beggar upon horseback lashes a beggar on foot.
Hurrah for revolution and cannon come again!
The beggars have changed places, but the lash goes on.

//What makes me chuckle in all this is that so many foolish folk seem to believe that we will not ALL pay for proposed expansions of government either by direct or indirect taxes.

I'm pretty sure we ALL know that we ALL pay taxes John.

Good grief.

RCV as a follow-up question in a preference poll is bunk...here is why.

The first question always asked in surveys is: if the election were held today who would you vote for? THe reason it is asked first is that the pollster does not want the following questions to influence the first (most important question). People have a bias towards not contradicting themselves...a sort of consistency bias.

Here is how it works. If you first stated you were a "conservative" you might be more likely to say I am voting for Emmer, when in fact there are few conservatives (always are) that would go to vote for Horner...even a few for Dayton (works the other way too).

If you ask the normal plurality question first...and later ask the RCV question...should you be surprised that the percentages are almost the same.

I really can't believe this.

"Well that's fine, Brian, because that's not what Emmer is calling for."

Thank you for recognizing the point. Let me know when Rep Emmer's 'budget' identifies, with specificity, where cuts will occur. Until then, its as genuine a budget as the example I used; which you rightly point out isn't genuine at all.

If I've somehow missed Emmer's detailed budget, I thank you in advance for offering a link to it.

Ya know, I just heard Emmer claim he had a detailed budget in a debate, what planet is that guy on?

'And its not just that people don't know Horner. They actually dislike him - he has the highest negatives of the three candidates.'

I can't argue with Dan Hintz that Tim Horner seems to be bringing up the rear in the race for governor. But the polling data that Eric Black quoted don't support Hintz's claims. Indeed, they suggest the opposite: Black reported that "almost a quarter of respondents didn't know [Horner] or had no opinion of him," but he also reported that in answer to the "temperature question," respondents gave Horner a 50 - a warmer temperature than either Dayton (48) or Emmer (45).

These findings seem to indicate that not many people know Tim Horner - but that to know him is to like him. (At least, to know him is to hate him less than some people hate either Dayton or Emmer.)

As a supporter of Ranked Choice Voting, I believe RCV would improve the confidence of the 72 percent of likely Horner voters who said they "only leaned towards him." Perhaps some of these voters hesitate to come out strongly in favor of their preferred candidate because they have strong opinions about who their second choice would be and don't want to cast their vote for a "spoiler," thereby – under the present winner-takes-all electoral system - indirectly handing a victory to the candidate they like the least. Ranked Choice Voting would eliminate this problem for Independence Party voters and for other third-party voters as well.

Eric Paul,

I actually was not relying on the "temperature" measurement here, but prior polling with the standard approve/disapprove questions. There was an article here on Minnpost (which I can't find now) where the Horner people were trying to explain Horner's high negatives as an aberration. In any even, I should have been more clear and cited the poll.