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Poll shows opposition gaining on both gay marriage and Voter ID

Canadian Catholic clerics back marriage amendment; more bike lanes for Edina; a big brew competition; bloggers at work; and more.

A Democratic-leaning poll shows both constitutional amendments trending in the direction of the opposition. Tom Scheck of MPR writes: “Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina firm linked to Democrats, says opposition to two proposed constitutional amendments has grown since the firm last polled on the issues. The poll of 937 likely voters in Minnesota between Oct. 5 – 8 finds that a growing number of people are opposed to a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, and a constitutional amendment that would require people to present photo identification to vote. The poll found that 49 percent of those polled are opposed to the amendment to ban same-sex marriage while 46 percent support it and 5 percent say they’re not sure. … Meanwhile, support for the so-called Voter ID amendment has dropped from previous polls. The measure still is supported by a majority of those polled (51 percent) but support has dipped seven percentage points since a June poll. Forty-three percent of those polled oppose the amendment, while 6 percent say they’re not sure.”

Doug Belden’s PiPress story on the poll also includes this:
“Among the other findings in Monday’s poll:
• Democrats have a 52/40 advantage on the generic legislative ballot;
• Gov. Mark Dayton has a 53 percent approval rating, compared to 33 percent who disapprove. Sen. Al Franken has approval/disapproval numbers of 49-38 percent. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s favorable margin is 38-22. As for former Gov. Jesse Ventura, 29% of voters rate him favorably, compared to 53% with a negative opinion.” And T-Paw?

Baird Helgeson of the Strib includes: “The new poll found the greatest movement among independent voters, who now oppose the [marriage] measure 52 to 42. A month ago, the results were nearly flipped, with 51 percent in favor and 42 percent against. Women oppose the measure 51 percent to 43 percent in favor. Fully 49 percent of men are prepared to vote no compared to 47 who support the amendment. The strongest opposition comes from young people, who say they plan to vote against the amendment 53 percent to 38 percent. … Opposition [to Voter ID] is strengthening among Democrats, where 71 percent are opposed. Support among independents is sagging, though they still support it 52 percent to 41 percent. That’s down a good deal from a month ago, when support was 62 percent to 33 percent.”

Belden also had a story on Canadian Catholic clerics in town to support the local archbishop on the marriage amendment: “A panel backed by supporters of the marriage amendment said penalties for businesses that deny service to gay couples, rewriting of school curriculum to include a new definition of marriage and loss of parental control over children’s education are among consequences of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. The group, which included Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, spoke Monday … at the University of St. Thomas law school in Minneapolis. It was convened by the Minnesota Catholic Conference and Minnesota for Marriage, which are advocating passage of a proposed amendment in Minnesota that would add the definition of marriage as a man-woman union to the state’s constitution. In practice, Prendergast said, ‘other things seem to trump religious freedom or religious expression.’ And the law’s had a chilling effect, he says. ‘What I think is becoming more evident is people self-censoring themselves, not saying what they think.’ ” This is a variation on the argument that disclosure/transparency creates an environment hostile to people and groups supporting restrictive legislation.

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Earlier, Tim Pugmire of MPR had said: “The disagreement over the potential impact of voter ID is fueled by the lack of detail in the proposed constitutional amendment. The brief document makes no mention of military or overseas voters. If voters pass the amendment in November, state lawmakers will have to fill in many of the blanks next year with enabling legislation. Other states with voter ID laws have exemptions for soldiers or allow the use of U.S. military identification.” If it passes, it’ll be in the courts for years.

The Bimmers and Lexi may have to run single file in certain areas of Edina. Tim Harlow of the Strib reports: “The city recently added a number of bike lanes on north-south and east-west thoroughfares and other streets to make it easier for cyclists to pedal around town. In addition, Edina has added 48 new bike racks at more than a dozen retail outlets and other popular locations in the city. Among the improvements are bicycle boulevards on W. 54th Street and Wooddale Avenue, colored bicycle lanes on Valley View Road, bicycle detectors at traffic signals on 54th Street and France Avenue, and advisory bike lanes on Wooddale Avenue and parts of 54th Street. Advisory lanes look like dedicated bike lanes, but instead of having a solid line separating them for the regular traffic lanes, they have a dashed line. That means motorists may drive in the advisory lanes when bicyclists are not present.”

If you’re starting to get used to the beer sommelier bit from waiters at the neighborhood brew joint, be advised of the showdown beginning this Thursday. Says Michael Agnew of City Pages: “The ‘Iron Chef’ of Minnesota home brewing is about to get under way. Starting this Thursday, October 11, a select group of experienced brewers will go head to head to become the state’s first Top Brewer. Twenty-four competitors will square off in the qualifying round that will narrow the field to four. But in the end only one will emerge victorious. To that mighty meister of beer goes the glory and the opportunity to brew their winning draught for commercial release at Lucid Brewing. Top Brewer Minnesota is a project of Chop Liver Beer Fests and Thrifty Hipster in association with Blue Plate Group and Lucid Brewing Company. It’s intended as a celebration of the local craft beer scene. By uniting local breweries, beer lovers, home brewers, and craft beer bars in one event, the organizers hope to showcase each group and highlight the contributions they make to the community.” I may enter my kid’s uber-hoppy Headless Visigoth stout.

Mitch Berg, of the Shot in the Dark blog, notes the PiPress’ decision to avoid endorsements this year … instead of, you know, endorsing both candidates like they did in 2000. Says Berg: “I suspect – and this is just a, er, shot in the dark on my part, pure speculation —that there are one or two reasons for this:

  • The Pioneer Press has figured out that press endorsements are just another form of bandwagoneering unbecoming a ‘journalistic’ entity. While the Pioneer Press’ endorsement record is a lot more bipartisan than the Strib’s, a record (generally, across the media, not just at the Pioneer Press) of mostly-DFL endorsements provides prime ammunition for the charge that the press is biased to the left.
  • They were facing the prospect of having to not endorse Betty McCollum.  The long-time DFL Congresswoman has been such an incredible non-entity, and has developed into such a rancorously partisan figure in Congress, that a significant part of the editorial board decided not to endorse.  After a fierce battle with the rest of the board, and facing backlash from a pro-DFL staff, the paper decided to just avoid the whole mess.”

Betty McCollum … “rancorously partisan”? My guess is “rancorously” was Mitch’s word-of-the-day and he had to use it once somewhere before sundown.

When you have your own blog, you are apparently entitled to your own facts. At Let Freedom Ring, Gary Gross writes: “Jerry McCarter is challenging State Sen. John Pederson in SD-14. A substantial part of McCarter’s message is anchored in the state government shutdown. … Gov. Dayton shut state government down. Included in the post is the link to the negotiation documentation showing Gov. Dayton and the GOP legislature had agreed to sign an agreement limiting the June 30 special session ‘to passing a ‘lights on’ extension of funding for all current operations and obligations of state government until 11:59 of July 11, 2011.’  The GOP legislature didn’t reject signing that agreement. Gov. Dayton did. Whatever DFL candidates say, the indisputable fact is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL rejected the GOP’s plan to keep the state government open. Gov. Dayton’s arbitrary decision to shut state government down hangs on his head and on Rep. Thissen’s and Sen. Bakk’s heads.” Next: Gross on documentation proving the North attacked Fort Sumter.