A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on August 4th, found Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker losing to both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Minnesota, Wisconsin’s next door neighbor to the West. The poll of 1,015 registered Minnesota voters, conducted from July 30 to August 2, 2015, showed Hillary Clinton defeating Walker 46-42 percent, while Bernie Sanders held a 41-40 edge over Walker.
Clinton led every other GOP presidential candidate as well. Sanders led every GOP candidate except Jeb Bush who edged the Vermont Sanders by a narrow 41-40 margin. In the Democratic primary, Clinton held a 50-32 advantage over Sanders.
Minnesota has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon carried the state in 1972. Nevertheless, the state has still been regarded by political analysts as a competitive swing state in the 21st century. Al Gore only eked out a 48-46 victory in Minnesota in 2000, and John Kerry won the state by 51-48 percent in 2004. Barack Obama carried the state by more comfortable margins in 2008 (54-44) and 2012 (53-45).
Some Republican strategists have backed Scott Walker in the hopes that the Wisconsin Governor would not only carry his home state, but also that his Upper Midwest appeal would spill into neighboring swing states like Minnesota and Iowa. However, Walker isn’t regarded as a good neighbor by most Minnesotans.
Only 34 percent of Minnesota voters have a favorable opinion of Walker, compared to 45 percent who view him unfavorably. Minnesota Republicans adore him. Walker is liked by 68 percent of Minnesota Republicans, compared to just 16 percent who view him negatively. However, Independents and Democrats in Minnesota can’t stand the guy. There simply aren’t enough Republicans who like Walker to offset all the Independents and Democrats who do not like him.
If the Republican Party chooses Scott Walker as their nominee, they may have to accept defeat in the state of Minnesota for the 11th consecutive presidential election. Minnesotans have seen what their next door neighbor has done to Wisconsin, and they are not interested in letting him spread his blight to the rest of the nation.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.