Republicans could pull off the upset of upsets in a deep blue state according to recent polling. It’s not just one or two seats either. They are winning or competitive in about half a dozen races. The state, believe it or not, is Minnesota.
All of the top statewide offices are up for election. Let’s start with the race for governor. Democratic incumbent, Tim Walz leads Republican Jensen and lieutenant governor candidate Matt Birk by just 2.7 points, 47.7% to 45%. That is, within the margin of error.
In the race for secretary of state, Republican Kim Crockett trails incumbent DFL Secretary of State Steve Simon by just one point, 46.2% to 45.2%. In the state auditor race, Republican Ryan Wilson holds a slight lead, 42.3% to 41.2%, over DFL incumbent Julie Blaha. The biggest surprise is in the race for Attorney General with Republican Jim Schultz leading DFL incumbent Keith Ellison, 49.3% to 45.7%.
The reason that the Republicans look so good is attributed to Joe Biden who has an approval rating of -10.9. Must be a lot of miserable people living in Minnesota because Biden says the reason people don’t like him is that they don’t know how to be happy. They used to know, but then Biden became president and everyone got amnesia. Must come from the cows. You know, Milk of Amnesia.
The top issues for the voters in Minnesota is crime/safety at 41.5%, the economy at 21.6%, and abortion rights at 18.1%. No other issue hit in double digits. Crime and the economy are strong Republican issues and abortion is a Democratic mainstay.
Minnesota has been a tough barrier for Republicans to break through in statewide races in recent years. The last Republican governor of the state was Tim Pawlenty, who served from 2003 to 2011. The state last elected a Republican secretary of state and state auditor in 2002. A Republican has not served as attorney general since 1971.
In recent weeks, Trafalgar has found that Republicans are in tighter-than-expected races in a number of blue states. Earlier this month, Trafalgar showed Republican Washington Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley closely trailing incumbent Democratic Senator Patty Murray; Murray’s lead was right up against the poll’s margin of error, 49.2% to 46.3%.
Trafalgar also found that Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul was in a surprisingly close race against Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin; Hochul led Zeldin 47.8%-43.4% in the deep-blue Empire State. Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly said at the time that the results stemmed from a working-class backlash to the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness effort.