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Low approval ratings for Clinton among Minnesota voters, poll finds

REUTERS/Kate Munsch
Clinton has the approval of 35 percent likely voters contacted for the survey, with 49 percent saying they disapprove of her.

A new poll conducted by a Republican-affiliated interest group finds low approval ratings for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Minnesota. The same poll gives fairly high marks for Gov. Mark Dayton. 

The Minnesota Jobs Coalition and The Tarrance Group conducted the poll June 9, 10, and 11, sampling 600 voters by landline and cell phone. Yes, the Tarrance Group polls for Republican candidates, but it also produces the Georgetown University Battleground poll, a bipartisan political survey conducted with Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners. The poll has a margin of error four percentage points.

Clinton has the approval of 35 percent of likely voters contacted for the survey, with 49 percent saying they disapprove of her.

Dayton has a 51 percent approval rating and 42 percent disapproval, nearly identical to the 600-person Star Tribune poll taken in March

A breakdown of demographics shows Clinton with pockets of strength, however. She has the approval of 66 percent of the voters that identified themselves as DFL. But here too, she lags behind Dayton, whose approval rating is 83 percent. 

Among women voters, Clinton has a 40 percent approval and a 46 disapproval rating, weaker than in some national surveys. Among unmarried women, her approval climbs to 42 percent, with 43 percent disapproving. Among married women, her approval drops to 39 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. 

The larger purpose of the poll, according to MJC executive director John Rouleau, was to survey the issues that Minnesota voters care about. Rouleau declined to go into specifics, but said the top five issues are standard: taxes, spending, education, jobs, and the economy. 

The poll also looked at Minnesota house districts that changed representation in 2014, including five rural districts where DFL-ers hold the seat but where Mitt Romney won in 2012. In those districts, which Rouleau did not identify, Clinton holds an approval rating of 37 percent and a disapproval rating of 45 percent.

That finding is important to the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which contributed to the GOP house victories in 2014 that resulted in the Republican majority. 

To Rouleau, the Clinton numbers indicate that Hillary Clinton “is not an asset” at the top of the ticket, particularly in the swing legislative districts where the 2016 legislative races will once again be a battleground. 

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Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 06/24/2015 - 10:29 am.

    Poll results

    Given the recent and very public problems polls have had lately, I think it’s interesting that people still cite them, even vouch for them. Apparently the message hasn’t gotten through.

  2. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 06/24/2015 - 11:29 am.

    Thanks for re-typing the MJC press release.

  3. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 06/24/2015 - 11:57 am.

    Actually, what matters

    is not the abstract (and perhaps loaded) question of whether voters approve of Clinton.

    What really matters is how Clinton does against specific GOP candidates. Are there ANY GOP candidates who can beat her? Which one does best? This is the kind of information that might be useful if the GOP wants to win the election. Or perhaps this is going to be another Goldwater type election?

    Until polls show that a real and specific candidate can beat Clinton, the GOP is just whistling in the dark.

  4. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 06/24/2015 - 12:01 pm.

    Mrs. Clinton…..

    will still win the nomination and carry the state of Minnesota.

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 06/25/2015 - 02:27 pm.

      Don’t be so sure

      A person who doesn’t have sufficient judgement to understand that she shouldn’t conduct government business on her private email account both lacks judgement and considers herself above the rules.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 06/25/2015 - 06:43 pm.

        Except what she did was perfectly legal

        and followed what other government officials were and are still doing. Considering how easily we’ve been hacked, I’d say her judgement is pretty apropos.

        • Submitted by jody rooney on 06/25/2015 - 09:57 pm.

          Must be special rules for Secretaries then

          because it sure wasn’t legal when I worked for the federal government in Washington.

          • Submitted by jason myron on 06/26/2015 - 12:17 pm.

            I don’t have any idea what you did

            when you worked for the federal government, but I’m guessing it wasn’t by presidential appointment. Clinton violated no rule because one didn’t exist at the time she served. The prior people who served as SOS did the same thing.

  5. Submitted by Douglas Shambo II on 06/24/2015 - 12:46 pm.

    Don’t count her out yet…

    Nowhere in this polling was there a head-to-head comparison of Ms. Clinton against potential GOP challengers, nor was there any polling of any GOP candidate approval ratings in Minnesota. Not only is it a very early poll, it strikes me as very one-sided – wishful thinking for more conservative voters, but pretty biased as to data.

    As for Ms. Clinton’s candidacy, I wouldn’t count either her or any Democrat out as far as winning our fair state. Look at her, and look at the Republicans running. Need I really say more?

  6. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/24/2015 - 01:07 pm.

    What are voters to do?

    Hillary just isn’t doing it for me. I think it is her feeble attempts at talking with the small people early on. Now she has that out of the way so she can focus on private fund raisers. We all know money trumps everything. There is an air of inevitability about her. But she is, arguably, the most qualified. Now I look at the GOP circus and all I can see there is incompetence, errant beliefs, ego mania, poor records, and a crowd of people tripping over themselves trying to look presidential and it isn’t working for me there either. One day they answer a question one way and the next day another way. They are more interested in being politically correct than they are letting us know what they really believe. I strongly feel their first answer is the real answer. I don’t know much about Sanders, but what I have seen and heard gives me a sense he is in touch with the real world. I feel he is a straight talker. I can’t put much credence into polls because so many are designed to elicit a certain result by the way the questions are asked. The voters have to make up their own minds and not be swayed by polls.

  7. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/24/2015 - 01:55 pm.

    Important Issues

    “Rouleau declined to go into specifics, but said the top five issues are standard: taxes, spending, education, jobs, and the economy.”

    That sentence has no meaning without the specifics. How many rank taxes or spending as their number one concern? A Republican-leaning group is always going to say taxes and spending are “the important issues.” While they are important to everyone, how many are going to base their vote solely or largely on those issues? Let’s see some numbers: I would be prepared to bet jobs and the economy loom larger than taxes or spending.

    “In those districts, which Rouleau did not identify . . .” Mr. Rouleau seems to have some issues about providing the details of his poll results. I would think a seasoned reporter would not have allowed a source to get away with that kind of thing.

  8. Submitted by jason myron on 06/24/2015 - 02:29 pm.

    So a Republican poll

    finds low approvals for Hillary…this is news? If they think they hate her now, wait till she’s inaugurated, especially after all the mud they’ve slung at her all these years. She might win 60% of the national vote…wouldn’t surprise me a bit

  9. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 06/24/2015 - 02:35 pm.

    The larger purpose of the poll was to …

    Make Hillary look bad. Come on – it was a poll commissioned by a Republican special interest group. They controlled the questions and the sampling method. Why didn’t they ask about the approval levels of their own candidates? How high an approval level would people to give Cruz, Walker, Bush, Trump? Well maybe they did, and they are not disclose the results – or maybe they didn’t because they knew the results would be so bad they would be an embarrassment.

    Republicans want to make the election about Hillary, not about their own stable of “stellar” performers like Chris Christie – a guy you can trust about as far as you can throw him.. And anyway, it is pretty clear that the Republicans don’t’ really care what the people think of their candidates. The Republican billionaire king-makers like the Koch Brothers will be making that decision for us, just as they will be controlling the nation’s agenda if we are foolish enough to elect a Republican.

    • Submitted by joe smith on 06/24/2015 - 04:05 pm.

      You may not be able to trust Christie but neither can you trust Hillary. Throwing either would be a chore. George Soros is the same person to liberals that Koch’s are to GOP’ers. Hillary has yet to answer any tough questions about her policies, that may be why poll numbers are low.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/24/2015 - 04:44 pm.

        George Soros

        “George Soros is the same person to liberals that Koch’s are to GOP’ers.”

        Is that right? Since 1989, the Koch brothers have made individual donations close to $2.6 million to political candidates. The Koch Industries PAC has given over $16 million.

        Since 1989, George Soros has made individual donations totaling nearly $1.75 million. His company’s PAC has given nothing. His company and his civil society foundation together have spent less than half of what Koch Industries spends on lobbying

        I think you have been fed a lot of baloney about the influence of George Soros. I would be interested to hear the name of one not-very-bright-but-ambitious governor he has in his pocket. Soros Fund Management is also not pumping hydrocarbons into the air and groundwater. The name “George Soros” is just a convenient bogeyman used to establish a false equivalency.

        • Submitted by joe smith on 06/24/2015 - 06:28 pm.

          Soros Open Society Foundation gave 11million in 2013 alone to liberal causes. That seems to be a significant amount of money. He tries to hide behind foundations and I guess folks but into that.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/25/2015 - 09:47 am.

            You’re good with numbers

            How does that compare to what the Koch brothers are spending?

            The Soros Foundation spends much of its money overseas.

  10. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/24/2015 - 03:47 pm.

    If you have a driver that wavers around the centerline of the road and a driver that is deep in the weeds of the right ditch, who’s going to win the race?

    Should be obvious, eh?

  11. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/24/2015 - 05:26 pm.

    This is a daily laugh fest

    I thought the DFL types want a candidate that is pure from big money politics and is transparent?

    Why then will they enthusiastically vote for Hilary?

    This is humorous listening daily from the “MinnPost DFL types” castigate the Koch bothers and then these same people cannot wait to vote for Hilary.


    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 06/24/2015 - 06:11 pm.

      I won’t “enthusiastically vote for Hillary”

      I favored a candidate other than Kerry in 2004, but when Kerry won the nomination, I was a good sport and spent the weeks before the election and the entire day of the election door-knocking, only to hear Kerry concede while people across the country were still voting and while there were questions (raised by the Green and Libertarian parties) of legally eligible voters in Ohio not being allowed to vote.

      After that, I vowed never again to do footwork for a candidate I didn’t like all that much.

      At my caucus meeting, I’ll vote for Bernie Sanders or whoever the farthest left person in the race is at that time. If only Hillary remains, I’ll vote “uncommitted.”

      Contrary to the stereotype that right-wingers like to evoke, I won’t vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman, just as I didn’t vote for Obama just because of his skin color. I voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 only because I have developed a strong distaste for the Republican Party’s greedy laissez-faire economic policies and cruel social policies and for their Democratic enablers, a group that has come to include both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

      What I will do in November 2016 is still up in the air. It depends on who the nominee is and how that nominee is polling in Minnesota.

      I will vote. Not voting at all is tempting, but stupid. At the very least, people should vote for their local and state officials, because they have a greater effect on your daily life than any president, and state and local offices serve as training grounds for higher offices. Also, if you can’t bring yourself to vote for either official candidate, you should vote third party.

      Why is this better than abstaining?

      Well, if you abstain, you are literally not counted. Even if 90% of eligible voters stayed home, and Candidate A received the votes of 6% of eligible voters and Candidate B received 4%, the media would spin it as a 60-40% win, and Candidate A would declare a “landslide” and a “mandate,” even though s/he had failed to win the support of 94% of the population.

      However, an election that had at least 50% turnout with one or more third parties winning 10% or more would be harder to spin as a landslide and might (*might*) prompt the major parties to do some needed self-assessment. Imagine an election in which turnout approaches 80%, with Party A winning 30% of eligible voters, Party B winning 29%, and various third parties, left and right, winning 21%. That would shake things up.

      I’m not saying that I will vote third party. As I said, it all depends. But third party is better than not voting at all.

      • Submitted by Margaret Houlehan on 06/24/2015 - 07:43 pm.

        I understand your point of view

        But I still believe that not voting or voting third party will just lead to another disaster. Someone will win, and I guarantee you it will not be Nader or Stein. At least Sanders is doing it the right way, and running for the Democratic nomination. I will vote for him in the primary.

        Seriously, though, do you honestly believe that McCain and Romney would have been better for this country than Obama? And not even considering Palin and Ryan, who were, if it is possible, far worse than the tops of their respective tickets.

        Look, I am not thrilled with Obama, particularly regarding TPP, but as some have said, it is the Supreme Court, stupid. Stupid in the general sense, not you personally, Karen.

        • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 06/25/2015 - 05:28 pm.

          I have voted third party before

          In 1996, I voted for Ralph Nader, because I was annoyed at Clinton for welfare reform and NAFTA, even though I was not personally affected by either one. However, I did so only because it was clear that Oregon, where I was living at the time, would go Democratic.

          In 2000, I again considered voting for Nader, because Gore ran one of the most inept campaigns since Dukakis. However, Oregon was within the margin of error, so I ended up voting for Gore.

          In 2016, it will all depend on who is running and what the likely outcome in Minnesota is. Remember that in our odd electoral system, the popular vote counts for nothing other than determining the state’s electoral votes. If Hillary Clinton is nominated, I will be looking at my options.

          I do not believe that McCain and Romney would have been better than Obama, but I reserve the right to be extremely disappointed in his wishy-washyness and his excessive willingness to kowtow to corporate and military interests.

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/25/2015 - 11:35 am.

      I’m not running to Hillary

      I’m runaway from the GOP circus, which only reveals they are totally leaderless. They can’t lead their own party, they can’t lead a country.

  12. Submitted by Margaret Houlehan on 06/24/2015 - 06:09 pm.

    I find it amusing

    that anyone believes that any of the buffoons in the GOP clown car are credible candidates. Mrs. Clinton could go head-to-head with all of them….with half her brain tied behind her back.

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 06/25/2015 - 02:37 pm.

      Yes she has pretty much proved she is a dirty

      street fighter however I would rather that we had a President who with a little more integrity. Where to find one I am not sure but….

  13. Submitted by Keith Kuckler on 06/24/2015 - 06:42 pm.

    As a life long member of the DFL. former union member, farmer, and, skilled construction worker, I consider myself a progressive. I will never vote for Billary, or is it Hillary? She is no true progressive, just another neo-liberal, in the control of the multinational business and finance powers. She knows nothing of what it is like to work with your hands or back for eight to twelve hours a day. She was born into a class of privilege, and, has never left it. I will send money to, and, vote for Bernie Sanders. He is the only authentic candidate running in either party. When the displaced workers in this country start cashing their unemployment checks, she, and her corporate supporters will be cashing in their bonuses, and, stock options.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/25/2015 - 09:45 am.

      And then what?

      I would much rather see Bernie Sanders earn the nomination. If the nominee is Hillary Clinton, I will vote for her.

      Are you not uneasy at the prospect of a President Jeb! filling Supreme Court vacancies, or being Commander-in-Chief of the military?

  14. Submitted by Margaret Houlehan on 06/24/2015 - 07:34 pm.

    I will vote for Bernie in the primary

    as well. That said, will you vote third party or GOP if Hillary is the nominee? Can you say Ralph Nader and 8 years of the most disastrous president in US history? Hillary may not be the wet-dreamers’ ideal candidate, but she is still light-years more progressive than any of the GOP field.

    Respectfully, it is the Supreme Court I am concerned about.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 06/25/2015 - 11:22 am.

      As well you should be, Margaret

      I like Bernie too, but with all due respect, he’s can’t win a general election. The next president will nominate at least two SCOTUS justices and this mornings ruling on the ACA has illustrated how crucial that is. One look at the devastation being wrought in states that have conservative legislature and Governors should give one pause to consider how regressive their policies would be to this country if given the opportunity to run the entire government unchecked. A Clinton presidency would effectively put a stake through the heart of the GOP and either crush them completely or force them to make the leap into the 21st century. Either way, it’s a win/win for the future of America.
      To me, it’s all about winning.

    • Submitted by Alan Muller on 06/29/2015 - 09:29 pm.

      That’s what’s so depressing to so many: The scenario of Clinton vs some mega-horrible Republican candidate. I wonder (have no data): How many people developed enthusiasm for Obama and now feel too burnt and betrayed to take another presidential campaign seriously.

  15. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 06/25/2015 - 08:47 am.

    “I thought the DFL types want a candidate that is pure from big money politics and is transparent? ”

    I think this is reflects an important misunderstanding. DFL types want a candidate who can win.

  16. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 06/25/2015 - 06:31 pm.

    Why the pole is worthless!

    There is no choice:
    Do you prefer hot and humid weather? 12% in favor
    Do you prefer hot and humid or 40 below for 3 weeks? 75% prefer hot and humid!
    This is too expensive, until you find out the option is 2X the price, now its not too expensive its a really good deal!
    Philosophy 101

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 06/25/2015 - 10:03 pm.

      I am sure a pole would be worthless but this is a poll

      You do raise a good point about context in polling. There is also sample size, population source, as well as pretesting questions to determine validity. But those are things to be reviewed not just dismissed out of hand. I would suspect that this was a ranking question and the rankings weren’t reported or it should be a ranking question, if it was yes and no that would be bad.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/26/2015 - 09:54 am.

    I don’t really doubt the findings

    Hillary’s not popular with progressive and real liberal voters. She has a checkered history of tacking to the right at critical junctures when she hasn’t needed to. The fact that she just realized a few weeks ago that we’ve been having a resurgent heroin epidemic in the US doesn’t bode well for her finger on the pulse of America’s problems either. I mean I know she’s been out of the country a lot but…

    Yes, Democrats like candidates that “win” but the problem is they delude themselves into thinking they “know” who’s electable and who isn’t despite a well documented history of choosing losers. Were it up to the rank-and-file DFLer’s neither Franken or Dayton would have got the nomination. Can anyone even remember the name of the guy the DFL actually tried to nominate for Governor?

    The Democrats saving grace is the fact that republicans having nothing but clowns entering the race for President… but don’t underestimate the democrat’s talent for pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory.

  18. Submitted by Tom Bullington on 06/27/2015 - 06:39 pm.

    Given the poll and the author, not a big surprise

    Republican poll results covered by a longtime Republican operative. If this had been a StarTribune poll, it would be news.

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