The current narrative excusing Obama and the Democratic Party's poll standings is that the unemployment rate is too high. It isn't Democrats that are persona non grata, it's just a general feeling of discontent due to the economy. People in Minnesota are not happy with the country's direction because of economic disasters due to GOP policies, or that's the explanation by the far left. But, it doesn't explain the numbers game in the Gopher State.
Minnesota's governor, Tim Pawlenty, has repeatedly stopped the free-spending DFL controlled legislature. Our budget isn't in the deep doo-doo of an Illinois, California, or New York. As a result, we actually have an unemployment rate that is far lower than the nation's. While the federal government is scaring the business community, at least the state doesn't look like it's ready to steal the prosperity out from under them. Our current unemployment rate has dipped to 6.8%, far below the national rate of 9.5% and falling far faster. Unemployment and economic distress has slowly left the state. So, the DFL should be absolutely jubiliant and flying high in the polls, right? Democratic supporters of the administration must be soaring to reelection, correct?
There has been very little polling in our U.S. House districts, with the exception of Michele Bachmann in the Sixth District. The deep Blue media and powers-that-be have made Bachmann's seat their number one target. They have polled the Sixth District to try and find flaws and weaknesses in Bachmann's numbers. Instead, Michele has a commanding lead over her opponent, tax-and-spend Tarryl Clark, DFL. But, they continue to poll, hoping they can find some wiggle room in her campaign.
What has not been reported is the numbers for the Seventh District and the generic ballot. These are where the DFL-Elite are deep-sixing the news hoping the electorate in Minnesota will just forget to vote. It should scare the beejezuz out of the leftists in Minnesota.
A June poll in the Seventh District, a mainly conservative farming area, found that Colin Peterson, the ten term congressman and chairman of the House Agriculture committee and original Blue Dog has 39% support against 36% for an unnamed Republican. Now, think about the electoral implications for Peterson. He's been busy pilfering the federal budget for twenty years, buying constituencies and he can't get 40% against a ham sandwich with a GOP flag stuck in it. Also, he has the power to continue agricultural policies that benefit this rural district and barely beats a Republican with no seniority. But, for the Democrats it gets worse than that.
They have not polled other districts but the Humphry Institute did do a generic ballot poll for Congress in May. What they found must have given the StarTribune and the rest of the DFL machine the cold sweats. The University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute asked 42% Republicans and Republican-leaning, and 42% Democrats and Democrat-leaning voters (15% completely unaligned) which they'd rather have a Republican or DFL representative. The survey found 44% believed a Republican would be preferable while only 31% believe a Democrat would be better. This is a stark difference that should have them worried.
Of the eight congressional districts, two are about as DFL as districts can get, the Fifth in Minneapolis with Keith Ellison and the Eighth with James Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation committee. DFL candidates hold a three to one advantage over Republicans in both districts. The Second and Third are pretty safe Republican districts and the Sixth, with Bachmann, is looking relatively safe. But, Peterson in the Seventh looks vulnerable, per the previous discussion. Betty McCollum in the Fourth, in St. Paul should be considered safe and Walz, a Pelosi clone in the First is also considered by Cook and Rothenberg to be safe. So, where are all these disgruntled voters going to vote? The numbers don't add up.
The Second and Third districts are Republican, but certainly not more than Minneapolis and the Eighth are DFL. Let's say they cancel each other out. (They don't, but let's be charitable) We are still looking at a 13 point differential in the remaining districts. If Bachmann pulls it off, she is still just at a little over 50%. Where are all these votes going to go? Perhaps it is Peterson's time to go. If so, net one for the Republicans. Walz is probably not safe either. The First is another conservative rural district like Peterson's and Walz is more liberal than Peterson. That probably means if Peterson is vulnerable, Walz is toast, regardless of what Cook and Rothenberg think. There are just too many Republican votes to not make the First flip. That makes two net wins for Republicans.
But, here's where it gets interesting. We are still looking at a huge differential between the two parties. St. Paul is reliably DFL, but, it is the city that reelected former Senator Norm Coleman as mayor, a Republican. It also includes more conservative inner suburbs who are really angry. This is an area that is equally as independent and gave large pluralities to Jesse Ventura. McCollum could become another victim of the 2010 Pelosi Political Massacre that is slowly solidifying. It could be another headache for the DFL machine.
Of course this survey didn't report these findings. If it did, it should make the Democratic Party shake in their boots. If Minnesota, carpetbagging home of Al Franken, can flip two House seats, according to the numbers, certainly more Red States can do even more. We could be seeing a historic election that could put the entire progressive movement on a suicide watch.