Over on the NRO website, they have a new article breaking down the current state of the battleground States.
MINNESOTA: POLLS & SCHEDULES [Scott W. Johnson 10/19 11:10 AM]
In 2000, Minnesota was a powder blue state - Gore edged Bush in Minnesota by only 60,000 votes out of 2,450,000 cast, 47.9 to 45.5 percent. Ralph Nader essentially carried the balance; Minnesota was one of Ralph Nader's strongest states. Nader is on the ballot in Minnesota again this year.
Gary Gregg, NRO's official electoral-college dean, has tentatively moved Minnesota into Kerry's column and accordingly designated Minnesota a powder blue state. Gregg's designation appears reasonable; Kerry holds a 5-point lead in the last poll conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, although Rasmussen has the race tied in the most recent public poll of Minnesota voters. We think that Minnesota remains a battleground state.
Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that John Edwards will be stumping this afternoon in traditional Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party territory in Hibbing, Minnesota, best-known as Bob Dylan's hometown. On Thursday Kerry himself will tout a "Fresh Start For America" while addressing a rally in the parking area adjacent to the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. Reading the tea leaves, the Kerry campaign must lack confidence that Minnesota is poised to break its way on November 2.
What about the Bush campaign? It has scheduled President Bush to appear in Republican stronghold of Rochester tomorrow. The Bush campaign rightly senses that Minnesota presents a prime opportunity to turn a blue state red.
Let's face it, even though Nader is on the ballot in Minnesota, I seriously doubt that he will have the impact on the election like he did in 200, when he received roughly 8% of the vote in this state.
On the upside, Minnesota has become somewhat more Republican since 2000, and I believe there are a lot of DFLers who are fed up with the unreasonable hatred displayed against Bush and Republicans in general.
I don't think that this unmitigated hatred of Bush is an election year phenomenon, at least not for the rabidly liberal types in the state (and I know a few people who qualify as rabid), and I am expecting there will be a backlash against the DFL again in 2004, just as there was in 2002 when they lost so many elections, especially for the state wide offices.
Based on my own experiences recently in the state, I believe there is a strong possibility that Minnesota will go for Bush. It may be tight race, however, it is highly probable that Bush will carry Minnesota. Some of the observations I have made recently:
- Vehicles displaying Bush bumper stickers are running about 3 to 1 compared to vehicles displaying Kerry bumper stickers
- When wearing my Bush '04 cap, I frequently encounter people who say they support Bush. This is especially true of the college set.
- Houses with Bush signs versus Kerry signs are running about even in the state.
- Many Bush supporters are not openly so, as there is a great deal of hostility directed at us.
The first item, concerning vehicles with bumper stickers, is a growing trend in the state. Bear in mind that I drive roughly 100 miles every day to commute to work, most of it on the highway, in the Metro area. I also don't survey vehicles in my immediate neighborhood, or where I work, as that would skew the results, and take away a sense of randomness in the survey.
Another point on bumper sticker survey is that many Bush supporters are displaying "Support Our Troops" stickers on their vehicles instead of a "Bush/Cheney" sticker. These vehicles are also not factored into the survey, as not all such drivers may be Bush supporters.
I believe that the rabidness of the anti-Bush segment of the DFL in this state is going to do more to help Bush, and do far more long term damage to the Democratic party as whole than these nutcases realize, as they turn this once fine political party into the party of hate.
Bush will carry Minnesota, and the country.