Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


MPR pollster: GOP leader wrong about our survey

In the wake of the MPR/Humphrey Institute poll Thursday showing DFLer Mark Dayton up by 12 percentage points (41-29) over Republican Tom Emmer, the Minnesota GOP has responded with both barrels.

The first came from the Emmer campaign, which touted an internal poll showing the race tied 40-40. The Emmer camp isn’t releasing any details, and it’s possible tonight’s SurveyUSA/KSTP poll might provide independent confirmation.

But to quote University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, “You are a fool if you believe any new publicly released polls paid for by the campaigns or parties. Pure spin & manipulation this late.”

Second shot came from GOP Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb, who dumped on the Hump Institute poll during a stop at the Rochester Post-Bulletin. According to the paper, Brodkorb said the poll’s predicted turnout, which he pegged at 71 percent, was too high and “he said that voters also had to opt-in to be in the poll.”

Not true in either case, says University of Minnesota Prof. Joanne Miller, one of the MPR pollsters. 

“Our likely voter model doesn’t assume a 71 percent turnout.” she says. “The results we report are based on a likely voter model that assumes a 58 percent turnout. (Turnout was 60 percent in the 2006 governor’s election.)

“We did, in fact, also run the horserace numbers with a LV weight that assumed 71% (because Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is predicting higher-than-normal turnout) and found similar results.  But all the numbers we report in the press release are based on a 58% turnout. The ‘About the Survey’ section also makes this clear.”

As for the “opt-in” claim, Miller says the calling firm she uses offers such an option, but the MPR/HHH poll relies strictly on Random Digit Dialing that does not require respondents to “opt in” (other than answering the phone).

Brodkorb also mentioned the high proportion (20 percent) of undecideds, which has caused less partisan people doubts. However, to repeat something from this morning’s post, Humphrey Institute Prof. Larry Jacobs says if leaners were allocated more aggressively, Dayton’s margin rises to 16 points.

As noted this morning, the MPR/HHH final poll has consistently given DFLers bigger margins than they’ve won on Election Day. In the 2006 and 2008 U.S. Senate races, the gap was 1 and 4 points. The 2006 governor’s race was high by 7 and the 2008 presidential race by 9.

Sheehan’s zinger: “The HHH poll’s track record rivals only television weather forecasters for accuracy.”

It’s true that the HHH poll finishes near the bottom of’s pollster ratings. However, so does the Emmer campaign’s pollster, Public Opinion Strategies. Today’s forecast: ferociously spinning winds.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/28/2010 - 05:10 pm.

    Let me get this straight?

    Is GOP Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb hoping for a low voter turnout to help his candidate win the election?!

  2. Submitted by Bruce Anderson on 10/28/2010 - 07:31 pm.

    Of course he is J.J. Suppressing voter turnout so only strong partisans turn out is a long established tactic of the entire political establishment of dems and repubs. The people buy, why do think we see so many negative ads? They work.

    Poll after poll has shown that Tom Emmer can’t win. Even after 10 million thrown at him.

    Only Tom Horner can prevent a Dayton win.

    Independents and centrist must get of the dime and vote as a block for Tom Horner.

  3. Submitted by Patrick Steele on 10/28/2010 - 07:59 pm.

    Of course the GOP wants low voter turnout. Why else would the intimidation squad have its goons out in full-force?

  4. Submitted by Allison Sandve on 10/28/2010 - 11:04 pm.

    Mr. Emmer cannot win. Period.

    The choice now is between Tom Horner, who offers solutions that are moderate and position Minnesota for success, and Mark Dayton. While he may be a nice guy, Mr. Dayton’s potential as a leader leaves me uninspired.

    Support Tom Horner if you want common-sense and a leader who will be able to move us beyond gridlock and gimmickry.

    This came out today from the Horner camp. It’s cool:

  5. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/29/2010 - 08:53 am.

    Suppressing voter turnout is an old GOP tactic, because the more people that vote, the less likely it is that they will win.
    Who has aggressive get out the vote campaigns?

    And who tries to use goons and intimidation to suppress voter turnout?

    Rather than make it easy to vote, the GOP wants to make it harder, for obvious reasons. As Miller points out, Broadkorb again mispeaks. An all too common occurrence for him.

    Sandve&Anderson: Horner? In your dreams. Next time put up a real independent. Horner just has too much Republican baggage. His refusal to provide the necessary information to evaluate where he is coming from is telling. It SOUNDS good, but what would you expect from a good PR guy. You folks go ahead and waste your vote. But don’t complain that most folks are ignoring you.

  6. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/29/2010 - 10:11 am.

    “Suppressing voter turnout is an old GOP tactic”

    “And who tries to use goons and intimidation to suppress voter turnout?”

  7. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/29/2010 - 12:14 pm.

    Tom, all people in Minnesota have to do is look around… Those darn DFLers at the old folks home, hauling those people off to vote – just dastardly.

    I’ll let folks make up their own minds about whose goons and intimidators they see at the polling places, next week, thank you.

    Not difficult to discern at all.

Leave a Reply