Obama up by 8% on Romney in Minnesota

President Obama has a solid 8 percent lead among Minnesota voters. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib says: “President Obama has established a substantial lead against Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Minnesota but remains under the critical 50 percent mark and trails Romney among independent voters, according to a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. The poll shows Obama drawing 48 percent of likely voters to Romney’s 40 percent. Part of Obama’s advantage comes from a yawning gender gap in his favor. Romney has a slight edge among men, but the president leads among women voters by more than 20 percentage points. Obama wallops Romney in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, but that support falls off quickly in the outer suburbs and exurbs, where Romney leads.”

The state DFL is taking heat for doing so little to fight the GOP’s voting amendment. Tim Pugmire at MPR says: “[Phyllis] Hill [lead organizer with the Twin Cities faith-based community group ISAIAH] is frustrated by the campaign’s lack of resources, so she recently paid for lawn signs for the nonpartisan group to distribute. She is personally disappointed that the Minnesota DFL Party hasn’t done more to help the anti-voter ID campaign. ‘I just feel like, ‘Why haven’t you come out on this?’ she said. ‘And what I’ve heard is that they say ‘because we couldn’t win it.’ Well, it’s because you didn’t try. You can’t tell me that each ballot you went into you knew you were going to win.’ Although DFL officials say they have tried to support the campaign, other voter ID opponents share similar concerns. … [Rev. Jerry] McAfee credits some Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, state Rep. Bobby Joe Champion and state Sen. Jeff Hayden, all of Minneapolis, for taking strong and visible stands against voter ID. But he’s critical of the DFL, which he claims has not done the same. ‘What black folk need to do is wake up and evaluate the Democratic Party harder than they’ve been doing,’ McAfee said. ‘Because they’ve left us out to dry, and many others.’ “

At the Forum papers, Don Davis takes another look at the effect of T-Paw scratching his name from Minnesota’s candidate list … for a couple of years: “Minnesota speculation was heavy on Pawlenty challenging U.S. Sen. Al Franken in 2014. That now appears unlikely to happen, and if all goes well for Pawlenty he could stick to the lucrative Washington lobbying scene after twice losing out as a vice presidential candidate. Speculation now turns to who Republicans could put up as a Franken challenger.”

In The Atlantic, Lindsay Abrams notes Minnesota’s contribution to the anti-obesity campaign. “In 2011 a high-energy anti-obesity ad (video embedded) became something of a meme in the North Star State. If it didn’t inspire sedentary Minnesotans to join in the “Do Groove,” it at least made a celebrity of its sweater-vested protagonist. That ad embodied aspects of effective anti-obesity campaigns identified by a recent Yale study. Like First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative — it focused on positive motivation while avoiding explicit mention of the elephant in the room: obesity. Few feelings were hurt, but was it effective? … There are some obvious parallels in the Minnesota campaign to one undertaken in Georgia — down to the resemblance of the little girls featured. In both, the focus is on childhood obesity, with the acknowledgement that unhealthy eating is a pattern set early that can follow them into adulthood. These new ads also highlight the role that parents have in shaping these habits, something that the Yale study identified as potentially off-putting to audiences.”

The GleanThat 80% figure is holding. At City Pages, Aaron Rupar notes a study on the earning power of women vs. men. “A study by the National Partnership for Women and Families finds that Minnesota women who work full time pull in a median salary of $40,416, compared to $50,580 for men. That $10,164 difference (or 80 cents for every dollar men make) is actually more equitable than the 77-cents-for-women-per-dollar-for-men national norm. Minority women have it particularly bad, the study finds. Nationally, African American women make 64 cents and Latinas are paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. It should be noted that the study doesn’t sort by profession, meaning the pay disparity doesn’t necessarily mean women are making less than men for the same jobs.

GOP Rep. Mary Franson, arguably an heir to a crown Our Favorite Congresswoman currently wears, is of course avowedly anti-gay marriage. At the lefty site Think Progress, Zack Beauchamp writes: “Minnesota incumbent State Rep. Mary Franson (R) defended her support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman during a debate last week, arguing that the measure would protect the state’s children from abnormal behavior. Franson said:

My concerns are that our children in our schools could be taught some liberal agendas because of the marriage amendment. Because in the schools they may be taught that, this is normal behavior. I personally do not believe it is … that’s something that I wish to protect our children from.

I assume intolerance is a “normal behavior”?

Related … former Gov. Arne Carlson — he of the blunt opinions  writes in his blog: “[R]ecently, [Congresswoman Michele Bachmann] was relegated to a minor role outside the Republican National Convention in Tampa and her pronouncements are now carried closer to the obituary section of the newspaper than page one. What has happened to Bachmann is common with the [Joe] McCarthy types — they rise quickly as they step loudly and carelessly on the reputations of innocent people and they fall just as rapidly in accordance with the public’s insistence on truth and decency.  Rising Republican criticism has clearly hastened her downturn. But the Bachman story deserves to be more than a brief historical footnote.  For over a decade, she has attempted to define patriotism and conservatism while cloaking it under her interpretation of the Bible. … As a member of Congress, she rolled up a stunning record of absences.  For instance, from July 2011 to October 2011, she missed more than 50 percent of the recorded votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In the following quarter, from October 2011 to January 2012, her absenteeism hit over 90 percent. Yet, she collected full pay and full benefits including federal health care which she condemns as socialism when made available to all Americans.” But Governor, she just reminded voters of how hard she’s worked for her district.

There’s not much fun in boating Minnesota’s rivers. Mark Steil at MPR says: “The drought has pushed river levels in some parts of Minnesota to near record lows, forcing the state Department of Natural Resources to suspend water pumping permits for dozens of businesses and other users. Falling river levels also have transformed many streams, including the Minnesota River, which is dramatically low near Mankato, with a daily flow of 265 cubic feet per second, about a third of what it should be this time of year. At about 1 foot, the water level is the third-lowest on record. Normally the river might be 10 feet deep in spots, and the length of a football field or more across. But near downtown Mankato, the river is now more sand than stream.”

The parent company of City Pages is being sold, but the current owners are hanging on to their controversial Backpage.com “service.” At MPR, Mark Zdechlik reports: “The Village Voice is being sold, along with all of its affiliated free arts weeklies, but the deal excludes the online classified site Backpage.com, whose listings have drawn fire for promoting the illegal sex trade. The deal includes Westword in Denver; New Times in Phoenix, Miami and Broward, Fla.; Houston Press; Observer in Dallas; Riverfront Times in St. Louis; City Pages in Minneapolis and OC Weekly in southern California. … [Jim] Larkin and [Michael] Lacey, the founders of Village Voice Media Holdings, said they were ‘ready to move on and hand the reins to a new generation of writers, editors and publishers.’ Backpage.com will ‘become the centerpiece of a new online classified advertising company with business worldwide,’ the statement said.” Classy, gentlemen. Really classy.

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by tim johnson on 09/24/2012 - 02:48 pm.

    wages for women and men

    On the 80-percent “inequity”
    It seems if you can’t compare apples to apples with wages, you can’t state that there is any inequity involved.
    Studies of these studies have found that nearly all the disparity in average wages is due to women choosing jobs that pay less, choosing to work fewer hours on average than men in comparable jobs, and leaving the work force to focus on family, “losing” seniority, etc…
    It’s not at all clear that women are “forced” into such jobs; more women who become physicians chose to be general family medicine practioners than do men; most surgeons are men, by choice apparently, not because women have been edged out. Surgeons make way more than general practitioners.
    Just as it wouldn’t make any sense to say there is inequity in aggregate pay scales because the average McDonald’s employee makes less than the average IBM employee, so it goes with comparing aggregate averages between men and women.
    Now, you can mount an argument that elementary school teachers should get paid as much as, say, neuro-surgeons.
    But I would bet that when the rubber meets the road and you deliver your child to first grade versus when you deliver your child (God forbid) to an operating room for brain surgery, you would vote for the latter venue being paid more per hour.
    There is little evidence that women get paid less than men for the same job. School teaching jobs are a good example; the pay scale is gender neutral.
    And I think that such disparities are illegal in most circumstances, as it should be.
    It can work the other way, too.
    Most cowboys are men and they make way less than elementary school teachers, who tend to be women.
    And all good cowboys aspire to one day marry the local school marm; for health insurance if not for love.
    Kissing horses only takes you so far.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 09/24/2012 - 05:15 pm.

      80%

      The 80% comes AFTER all of those things are taken into consideration (http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/censr-15.pdf). That is, if you compare apples to apples, there’s still a gender pay gap of about 20% as an average (more in some professions, less in others). Interestingly, however, there are some examples where women make more than men–it usually is associated with being unmarried and childless…

      • Submitted by tim johnson on 09/25/2012 - 01:47 am.

        women, men, wages

        Rachel Kahler:
        I”m pretty sure (no scholar, no expert, I just read the funny pages) I’m pretty sure that the disparity is more like 2 to 4 percent… the “comparisons’ include what I only alluded to: categories such as “physicians,” without accounting for the differences between pay for general practitioners and surgeons;
        That is, I’m pretty sure the 77 percent, and the 80 percent, figures, are arrived at using very broad categories at best, or not at all, in terms of comparing actual jobs; rather, the salaries of women are toted up and compared to the total aggregate salaries of men and the difference is spoken of as a “disparity”, when it’s more simply a difference explained by many things other than “inequity.”
        and the fact that some organizations such as those named something such as “Organization for the Promotion of Women and Children and to Hell with Men,” probably is not going to write honestly about the situation…..
        In other categories, the differences such as female attorneys choosing to work fewer hours than male attorneys aren’t accounted for in the toting up of salaries. And understandably, in many ways; such stuff is hard to ascertain and reduce to numbers…..
        But in general we all agree that women tend to choose kids over “the job” much more than men do or are faced with choosing; for good or bad. And one can argue, again, that somehow society should reward women more for choosing to “stay home with the kids,” and generally respond more immediately to such family concerns; but that’s a separate issue from just comparing pay for jobs.

        To be clear, I’m not saying that it’s “better” to work long hours or be a a surgeon versus a family medicine doctor; in the context of my comments, it’s very possible women generally are making wiser choices in terms of employment and salary.
        I’m just commenting on what the salary numbers seem to mean;.
        Since you bring it up;, take it upon yourself to find a case where a woman is making less than a man in any comparable job…….
        I’m not sure I know of one; I have no doubt there were many cases of such unfair disparities 30 years ago, especially 50 years ago.
        But today, I think more common is the case of women who have a leg up in many jobs situations because they are women; the disparity of women versus men at the very top of corporations, say; probably is due more to women choosing alternate things on the way up the ladder, than what I will agree is likely some prejudice to choose, when voting for a CEO, say, of a big company, for a man rather than a woman….;
        But I’m honestly not sure if that prejudice still exists in any disparate form: I think the cases of people voting to put a woman in charge might be pretty close to the cases of people voting to put a man in charge; that is, weighing gender in the choice….

        • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 09/25/2012 - 09:41 am.

          Pretty sure

          I agree that job choice and commitment choice does make a difference. However, I got the number from a study on jobs and pay which was quoted in the US Census document I linked to. I didn’t simply make it up. Those factors only partially explain the difference. The unexplained pay gap is most often reported as 7%, not 2-5%, and that figure takes into account all jobs, and not a direct comparison of equivalent jobs. It is most likely skewed downward by the high rate of part-time work women do as compared to men. (In itself an issue? Could be, based on experiences of people I know.) That would skew it downward because part time jobs tend to pay less overall. So, what does it look like when we only compare full time equivalent jobs? No one knows. At least not in the US. It also doesn’t take into account job division NOT based on choice and the placement of men and women unequally, despite training and education. This can be observed in blinded auditions for positions in an orchestra. As compared to orchestras where positions are filled with regular auditions (not blinded), orchestras with blinded auditions seat more women (http://www.nber.org/papers/w5903.pdf?new_window=1). Similarly, when identical resumes with male or female names were sent to potential employers, the women got fewer contacts than the men (http://www.jec.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=9118a9ef-0771-4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c). That is, if women are excluded from positions because they are women, presuming that female job choice is actually a choice is flawed.

          As for my observation of examples…that wouldn’t be appropriate or even possible. Most people in well-paid jobs find the subject taboo. I can’t go to my neighbor down the hall and ask “what do you make?” Well, I could, but it would be in bad form. And, in any case, the sample is too small. My neighbor may be male and may make more than me, but it might be because he has 10 years experience over me. Or that his specialty is different. Or that I work in one company and not another. I’m in a position that would make for very difficult comparison.

          • Submitted by tim johnson on 09/25/2012 - 11:45 am.

            women, men and pay

            thanks for the thoughtful comments..
            my main point is that we shouldn’t use loaded terms such as “inequity” to describe the reported differences in aggregate pay between men and women, because it introduces the idea that something unfair is going on, when, from your comments, it seems clear we simply don’t have the figures to make that conclusion… we know there are all sorts of differences in pay in many jobs for many reasons, and it’s not clear that gender is the cause of any large amount of unfairness in pay…….
            I think….
            the famous case of the Lily Ledbetter suing Goodyear for longterm pay discrimination against her versus men who had worked similar periods and jobs as she did has a rather hard-to-parse tale…were her early-on bad job reviews simply a case of gender discrimination, ro really based on her performance, which hindered her later pay levels? it’s not entirely clear; although it’s believable there was gender discrimination…
            the cases of women suing WalMart for allegedly discrimination against female employees also is rife with possible nuances; many of the apparent differences between men and women in choosing family life versus work, might explain some of it rather than simply discrimination.
            there is a an interesting recent finding of stockbrokers in which women won , through a settlement, I think; partly because the nature of the work, being paid solely on commission, ergo, sales, showed that women were given poorer accounts to begin with than male stockbrokers, so they proved their case and got company policies changed… so such discrimination does obviously occur in some cases, but I still think overall the way the 80 percent or 77 percent figure is thrown around all the time as a sign of inequity is massively wrongheaded, and, just wrong.

            • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 09/26/2012 - 11:46 am.

              No doubt that there’s inequity

              There is no doubt that there IS gender discrimination (go to the links I provided for hard evidence in at least 2 specific cases that can probably be easily generalized). The problem is that we can’t accurately identify how much based on the research that has been done. We can only conclude that a /minimum/ of 7% can be reasonably pinned on discrimination. Is that negligible? No. I’d like a 7% pay raise. I think anyone would. I’m certain that it’s the difference between not making it and making ends meet in many cases, too.

              It’s also untrue that we can’t get a better idea as to the actual rate. We can, but we haven’t. That doesn’t make the inequity non-existent. It just means we have our eyes shut as to the extent of it.

              Inequity is perfectly reasonable term to use.

              By the way, in my line of work, women are paid 4% less in private firms than men and there are about twice as many men. There is no clear reason for this. Men only billed 2% more in 2010, though it appears that firms actually bill clients 7% less of women’s work than they do men’s (why?!), even when women have a 6% lower average billing rate (why?!). It’s clearly not a savings measure for clients, or they’d bill a higher percent of the lower billing rate. It’s also not because women do a worse job–if you compare the percentage of services that were billed between women and men, when clients were billed on a per hour basis, women outperformed men, but firms only billed half of the women’s time on predetermined fee services. Very literally, women’s work is written off. All this results in firms undervaluing the work done by women by 23% (!!!!). While I can’t completely compare apples to apples because I can’t give you actual numbers comparing experience of women and men, I can tell you that it is unlikely that there is a significant difference. How do I know that? Because if you look at a corporate setting, men and women make about the same salary, even though there are 4.6 times more men in a corporate setting than women, suggesting that the actual value of men and women (if actually given equal opportunity) to potential clients (corporations) is the same.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/24/2012 - 04:10 pm.

    Depends upon who you ask

    “…I assume intolerance is a ‘normal behavior’?”

    For some people, yes, it is.

  3. Submitted by Matt Haas on 09/24/2012 - 07:23 pm.

    There’s a good reason

    There isn’t any way the DFL can provide funding for opposition to both amendments, all its legislative races, a senate campaign and provide legs for a presidential ground campaign. They would be spread too thin giving the GOP an undeserved edge in keeping control. This is the reason the GOP pushed so hard to get as many amendments on the ballot as they could. As important as the fight against the voter restriction amendment is, it, and the good folks leading the charge are going to have to stand on their own, just as the marriage amendment opponents have. Its an unenviable proposition but sadly it illustrates the power of an ideological legislature, with our state’s ridiculous low threshold for amendments. I wish you the best and you have my support.

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