The Republican Party of Minnesota withheld releasing positive poll information, which showed Republican candidates for statewide office in competitive races with their DFL opponents, because the poll showed Jeff Johnson, the Republican candidate for governor, down “double digits” to Governor Mark Dayton.
The Republican Party of Minnesota paid Public Opinion Strategies to conduct a statewide poll, which was completed between October 5 to 7. The poll of 500 “likely” voters showed Dan Severson, the Republican endorsed candidate for Secretary of State, with a two-point lead over Representative Steve Simon, the DFL endorsed candidate for Secretary of State. The poll data I received yesterday was not provided by the Republican Party of Minnesota, but I confirmed the information was accurate from multiple sources.
The Republican Party of Minnesota released a memorandum from Public Opinion Strategies about the poll which showed U.S. Senator Al Franken leading Republican Mike McFadden by 7 points. This was the only information released by the Republican Party about the polling they conducted.
The decision by the Republican Party of Minnesota to release poll information showing McFadden down 7 points, but not release poll information which shows other Republican candidates for statewide office in close races has frustrated many Republican candidates and their campaign staff.
Severson’s campaign declined to comment today about conversations they had with the Republican Party of Minnesota about polling. But sources with knowledge told politics.mn, Severson’s campaign was not immediately told the Republican Party of Minnesota had conducted a poll in the race for Secretary of State.
Republicans express strong concerns with strategy by the Republican Party of Minnesota to protect Johnson’s candidacy at the expense of other campaigns. The Republican Party of Minnesota did not release poll information showing Severson in a tight race, nor have they done any substantial messaging against Simon. In just the last week, the Minnesota DFL has been very aggressive in messaging against Severson, which is leading some Republicans to believe the Minnesota DFL knows the race is close.
The Republican Party of Minnesota did nothing to promote the poll information about Severson’s candidacy, while the Minnesota DFL has stepped up their messaging against Severson and is working hard to boost Simon’s candidacy. In the race for Secretary of State, the Minnesota DFL is doing much more to help Simon, than the Republican Party of Minnesota is doing for Severson.
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