This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Get The Real News Delivered To Your Inbox
Reservoir of Untapped Voters Could Deliver Minnesota for President Trump in November
Poll Numbers From the Ground
A recent Minnesota statewide survey suggests President Trump may take the lead over challenger Joe Biden. Of the 1141 respondents, 46.5% said that if the election were held now, they would vote for Donald Trump. That’s within half a percentage point of those who said they would vote for Joe Biden. At a 2.98% margin of error, those numbers could easily flip into Trump’s favor during early voting and into November. Hillary Clinton won the state by a margin of only 1.5% in 2016.
A Congressional District map, or report on the rural versus urban vote preference distribution, helps understand the survey results. For example, the survey shows that about 13% of those who answered the survey live in heavily Democrat Congressional District 5, presently held by Ilhan Omar. Unfortunately, the survey doesn’t show the results specific to District 5. Similarly, the survey lists the percentages of responses by Congressional District. However, the survey does not clarify the degree to which likely voters in each district favored either President Trump or Biden.
A Congressional District map would further show that nearly every district extends into the densely populated, Democrat-dominant metro area. Others include a college or university, another factor that skews districts to the left. This helps explain why conservative rural districts keep electing Democrat candidates.
Other maps or data, such as neighborhood and suburb voting trends, will help interpret the survey. An interesting state map produced by the New York Times displays interactive precinct results for the 2016 presidential election.
Survey Results Compared to Voting Age Population
While the survey results appear promising for the President, participant ages might affect results. Minnesota currently reports that about half the eligible citizens age 18-24, 62.5% of those ages 25-34, and 76% of the eligible citizens ages 35-44 and nearly 80% of those ages 45 to 64 have registered to vote.
About 10% of the likely voters who answered the survey were ages 18 to 24. Approximately 500,000 Minnesotans are age 18 to 24, also about one-tenth of the nearly 4 million voting age residents. Results for this age group are similar to their proportion of the voting age population. However, the results don’t show whether the age group favored either Biden or Trump.
A strong focus on the age 25-and-up crowd could yield far more new votes for President Trump among unregistered voters. As many as a million Minnesotans age 25-34 are eligible to vote; nearly 40% still have not registered. Nearly 25% of Minnesotans ages 35-44 haven’t registered to vote and could deliver another million votes.
Among the 1.4 million residents ages 45 to 64 are about 280,000 citizens who could be persuaded to register and vote. Among residents ages 65 and up, about 92,000 have not registered to vote. An interactive map identifies clusters of several counties with large numbers of voters, an indication of where to focus a ground game on their eligible but unregistered neighbors.
Using the Data
Despite its uncertainties, the survey shows the power of robust registration drives and get out the vote campaigns. A well-planned ground game could cement these preliminary findings into solid election results.
Most of the potential for new voters lies in the more conservative age groups. At a 51% registration rate, the 18-24 age group could nearly double their vote tally. Even if they all cast a ballot, it would produce less than 250,000 new presumably Biden votes. Adding the Biden voting range to age 34 yields only about 400,000 ballots.
As many as 2.5 million voters are age 35 and above, a demographic that trends conservative. In past years, Minnesota voters have learned that a conservative vote is a fool’s errand in much of the state. No wonder so many haven’t bothered to register or vote.
That may soon change. The 35 and above age group owns a house in the most attractive, peaceful neighborhood they can afford. They expect police to protect their home, their workplace, and their children’s schools. When riots spill into roadways during their weekday commute, they resent arriving late because law enforcement didn’t respond.
Many Minnesotans lost jobs and businesses to the Democrat governor’s coronavirus policies. Some lost loved ones because the Governor ordered nursing homes to accept convalescing Covid-19 patients. Some of those 2.5 million potential voters may decide it’s time to turn out this November for prosperity, law, and order.