Skip to comments.Minnesota Public Radio Poll Shows Former V.P. Walter Mondale Trailing in Volatile Senate Race
Posted on 11/03/2002 2:28:34 PM PST by John Jorsett
ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- With 10 percent of voters still undecided, former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman has a 6-percentage-point lead over former Vice President Walter Mondale in statewide poll results for Minnesota's U. S. Senate race.
With voter volatility making measurements of the state's public opinion a difficult task, results show Coleman, a Republican, with 47 percent, and Mondale with 41 percent. The poll, conducted for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Support for other candidates totals just 2 percent, according to the poll conducted Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. A total of 625 likely voters participated.
After U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash, Mondale was called from retirement by Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor party for a five-day campaign his supporters have dubbed the "Fritz Blitz."
Poll results "are a reflection of how volatile the race has become since Wellstone's death," says Dave Peters, the Pioneer Press senior editor who oversees the newspaper's polling efforts.
With the crash that killed Wellstone, his wife, daughter and several campaign staffers just 11 days before the election, the state's 2 million voters "had to rethink at least momentarily who they would vote for in the Senate election," Peters says. The count of undecided voters has increased from just 5 percent in the newspaper's September poll.
In addition, 17 percent of respondents said their choice in the Senate race was influenced by a controversial Wellstone memorial service that many considered a political rally.
I can believe it. Here in the California governor race, 23% of the electorate is either undecided or going to vote third-party.
... Poll results "are a reflection of how volatile the race has become since Wellstone's death," says Dave Peters, the Pioneer Press senior editor who oversees the newspaper's polling efforts ...When Republicans are ahead of, or even close to their Democratic opponents, the electorate is always described as "volatile," "in flux," confused, angry, undecided, disgusted with both sides etc., etc. Apparently you cannot support a Republican candidate on rational grounds.
Early in Dubya's campaign for the Presidency I met him and listened to him. His personal 1:1 contact was just short of incredible. His speech delivery left much to be desired. The President has really become one of the best speakers in my memory and I am over 70.
We are indeed fortunate to have Norm and the President in the same government (at least we will after Tuesday).
Not really. Some of his handlers likely pointed out the average voter who is exposed to more than ten consecutive minutes of Mondale's whiny, reedy voice is more apt to vote for fingernails--anyone's fingernails--across a blackboard, than they are for Mondale.
Think about it... Probably the undecideds were running 5% or less. Probably plenty of folks holding their noses and voting for Wellstone. And then he dies, leaving them to wonder whether they'd really want to vote for an old has-been.
Sounds about right to me. This is probably a good sign -- Wellstone's support didn't carry over to Mondale, and I really doubt many people will switch from Coleman to Mondale.
Maybe they're trying to motivate the welfare state Marxists to go to the polls by frightening them into doing it.
Well, they did make him ambassador to Japan, which is a pretty plum position. But it's not a policy position like SecState would have been; or something swell like SecTreasury. Can't imagine him wanting anything else....
In almost any election there are voters that are voting for reasons other than who will be senator. In many districts there are people who registered and are going to vote because they are for or against a school levy, or a zoning issue, or a wet or dry issue on the ballot. They may be voting for or against some country commissioner or mayor in some town.
Such people often do not even know who is running for the Senate, so when the pollster asks they are undecided.
Some may be ticked off at the Democrats, but unable to bring themselves to actually vote for a Republican. They tell pollsters they are undecided too.
The object of negative ads is to reduce support for a candidate. The object of negative ads is to turn a supporter into an undecided. In California where both candidates for governor have run very negative campaigns the undecideds are about 26 percent. Most of those will not vote on election day for either candidate. They will likely vote in other contests but leave the governors race blank.
A lot of that 10 percent are likely independents and Democrats who were moved into the undecided column by their reaction to the First Annual Wellstone Memorial and Beer Bash Pep Rally.
Considering how many Clinton appointees ended up either dead or under investigation, he should count himself fortunate that they passed him over.