The second half of a St. Cloud State University political survey delivers some encouraging news for Minnesota Democrats.
The annual survey found a dramatic increase in those identifying with the DFL Party.
“The 16-point advantage for Democrats is the largest the survey has observed,” said Steve Frank, the survey director and political science professor at SCSU, in releasing the data. “In the past few years, it has been about 7 to 11 points.”
The survey interview of 629 adults found this breakdown on party identification:
Democratic — 45%
Republican — 29%
Libertarian — 4%
Independence — 3%
That leaves 19 percent of respondents expressing no party identification.
The Democratic advantage was reflected in survey results that found 46 percent favoring DFL control of the House, and 45 percent believing the state is headed in the right direction.
It should be noted the survey was taken before the peak of negative news coverage of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and MnSure.
The interviews, conducted Oct. 20 to 27, included both cell phones and land lines.
Results from the first half of the survey, released earlier this month, showed declining approval numbers for Democratic office holders but no real political gain for Republicans.
Here’s a look at the newly released survey results:
On which party should control the Minnesota House:
Democrats — 46%
Republicans — 31%
Other — 10%
The survey notes that the 15-point advantage for Democrats is “the biggest difference we have observed… When considered with our findings of party affiliation and the feeling thermometer this is not a good place for the Republican Party to be.”
(In findings released earlier, 60 percent of the respondents, in ranking their “feelings” for political parties, gave a cool indicator to the Republican Party.)
On right direction/wrong track for the state:
Right direction — 45%
Wrong track — 38%
The survey notes: “For the first time in over three-plus years, more Minnesota adults think the state is headed in the right direction compared to those who think the state is on the wrong track. We are much more optimistic than Americans nationwide (roughly 30 percent right direction for the country — 60 percent or more say wrong track).”
Top problems facing the state:
Taxes — 13%
Health care — 10%
Unemployment — 10%
Education — 10%
Budget — 8%
Other — 8%
On which political party can best handle state’s problems:
Democratic Party — 36%
Republican Party — 25%.