The same polling operation that shows Mitt Romney with a post-debate lead over President Obama nationally has Obama widening his lead in Minnesota. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes: “A new poll of Minnesota voters shows Democratic President Obama with a ten percentage point advantage over Republican Mitt Romney and Democratic Senate incumbent Amy Klobuchar with a 26 percentage point advantage over Republican Kurt Bills. The Public Policy Polling poll comes as some national polls, done after what even supporters said was a poor Obama debate showing against Romney last week, show the president’s support in decline. The poll of Minnesota voters actually showed the president support narrowly increased from 51 percent to Romney’s 44 percent in September to 53 percent to Romney’s 43 percent in the recent polling. The PPP poll of Minnesota was done on Saturday and Sunday, perhaps mitigating the Obama dip of immediately after the Wednesday debate.”
The Duluth News Tribune story on Tuesday morning’s Chip Cravaack-Rick Nolan debate in the 8th District says: “Nolan said providing tax breaks to the wealthy is an ineffective way to stimulate the economy. Instead, he called on government policies to support the middle class, saying a strong middle class will result in increased demand. ‘The growing inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the destruction of the middle class, is one of the most terrible things that is happening in this economy today,’ Nolan said. ‘Whether it comes to taxes or spending, helping a poor kid get a chance to go to college; whether standing up and defending collective bargaining rights and wages and benefits for working people. Every opportunity we get, we have to say to ourselves: ‘Is this good for the middle class?’ because we’re going to build this economy back from the middle out, not the top down.’ Cravaack suggested any meaningful economic recovery will come from a less-fettered private sector.”
Aaron Brown’s analysis for his Minnesota Brown blog says in part:
“Rick Nolan: This was a more aggressive Nolan, and more focused. He came in with the mission of attacking Cravaack’s Medicare votes and pushing back on Cravaack’s claim (one shared in thousands of paid TV spots by outside groups and largely refuted by fact-checking services) that Nolan was going to end Medicare. …
Chip Cravaack: Cravaack focused much more on what I’d call national issues like the debt, the deficit and repealing ObamaCare. Cravaack is less comfortable talking about most MN-8 local issues (exception being mining, where he has the advantage of not caring one bit about winning votes on the left). As the successor to Oberstar, his tone about transportation projects is decidedly different and more based on political philosophy, which allowed Nolan to make some hay in supporting projects Cravaack wants to kill.
Final analysis: Debates are typically about expectations and, in this, I score the debate for Nolan. Cravaack hit him, but never quite knocked him off his game. Nolan stayed on the offensive. Cravaack didn’t do badly. Certain voters quite likely will prefer Cravaack’s performance.”
The sex abuse story out of Shattuck-St. Mary’s down in Faribault is growing. MPR’s Tim Nelson reports: “An allegation of misconduct by a second staff member at Shattuck-St. Mary’s may be on the way, and ‘even more disturbing,’ according to authorities in Faribault. … Gregg Meyers, an attorney with St. Paul-based Jeff Anderson and Associates, said that his law firm had already received a handful of calls about [Lynn] Seibel, and got another call this morning involving a second staff member. ‘Apparently there was another staff person that this individual is relating to us, that might have been the reason that the police were saying there was another staff member down at the school that was a problem,’ said Meyers. ‘’What has been reported to us was from the 1980s.’ ”
Over at City Pages, Aaron Rupar is following the flare-up between lefty blogger Eric Pusey and Strib political reporter Jennifer Brooks. Pusey thinks Brooks (and the Strib) have been way too soft on Our Favorite Congresswoman. (I know, you have no idea what he’s talking about.) Says Rupar: “The Star Tribune recently created a stir with coverage of Michele Bachmann’s swing through the 6th Congressional District that read more like P.R. than political reporting. … One of the most outspoken critics of Strib reporter Jennifer Brooks’ work has been liberal political blogger Eric Pusey, who writes for the MN Progressive Project. Last week, Pusey criticized Brooks on Twitter, and in response she somewhat curiously sent him a ‘Butthurt Report Form.’ So Pusey took it upon himself to email Strib political editor Patricia Lopez to see if she stands behinds Brooks’ coverage and her response to criticism.” News flash: Lopez stood behind her.
In that case, I assume the Strib will be on this like a cheap suit … . Mark Sommerhauser of the St. Cloud Times tells his readers: “Bachmann [Monday] charged President Barack Obama’s administration with covering up the cause of a recent attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya. The comments came at the opening of a campaign office in east St. Cloud for Bachmann … . Bachmann, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said more must be learned about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, earlier this year on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Another incident occurred the same day at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, where protesters scaled the embassy walls and tore down a U.S. flag. … Of the Benghazi attack, Bachmann said the Obama administration ‘is continuing to try to push this fiction that it was the video that had started all of this violence, when in fact, it wasn’t. This was a premeditated attack. This was not spontaneous like the administration wanted us to believe.’ When asked to elaborate on her accusation of a cover-up, Bachmann said: ‘When you have an administration continuing to put forth a line that has been proven that it’s false, one wonders, is this a cover-up?’ ” Moral to the story: Be very, very wary of those with a long history of ‘putting up lines that prove false.’ ”
Dig baby, dig! Dan Kraker of MPR reports from Ely that there might be as much as $100 billion in ore under the city: “This summer, Twin Metals estimated the land contained nearly $100 billion worth of copper, nickel and precious metals. But that could change later this month when the company is expected to release another estimate. Twin Metals trails only Polymet among the several companies pursuing efforts to mine the region’s rich mineral resources. Both companies have been reporting growing estimates of the amount and value of the ore underground. … Independent mining industry analyst John Tumazos expects Twin Metals’ assessment of deposits to keep growing as more drilling is completed. But Tumazos said much of the company’s drilling now doesn’t aim to determine out how large the deposit is. Instead, he said, the company hopes to find the best location to start mining. ‘They have enough material already defined for over 60 years of operation at a very high processing rate’, he said.”
At the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Heather Carlson checks out her area’s most interesting legislative races. She writes: “The DFL would need a net gain of four seats in the Senate and seven in the House to take control of the Legislature. Based on interviews with Republican and DFL analysts, there are five must-watch races in southeastern Minnesota — four Senate races and one House race. Among them is a race that virtually no one expected to be competitive. Democrats have started zeroing in on the Senate District 25 race between Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, and DFLer Judy Ohly.” Carlson’s paper endorsed Ohly.
The meningitis scare is more than just that for quite a few Minnesotans. The MPR story, by Lorna Benson, says: “Several hundred of the more than 800 Minnesota patients exposed to potentially contaminated steroid injections are reporting symptoms that could be signs of meningitis infection. Most patients who have symptoms describe them as mild, said state epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield. That could indicate other possible conditions, unrelated to meningitis infection, she said, but all symptoms should be investigated. … Minnesota currently has three confirmed cases of meningitis infection related to the national outbreak.”