Posted at 6:28 AM on October 9, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to the Daily Digest, where marriage amendment supporters look to Canada's experience, congressional candidates debate today, and Romney surges in the polls.
Marriage amendment supporters are looking to Canada's experience.
A new poll shows growing opposition to the marriage amendment and a constitutional amendment that would require voters to show photo ID at the polls.
Opponents and proponents debate the voter ID amendment tonight at 7 p.m. at the Maplewood City Hall Council Chambers.
Minnesota's "safety net" hospitals are bracing for cuts.
Target is expected to hire 90,000 seasonal workers.
There are fewer moderates in Washington, the New York Times reports.
The Race for Congress
Jim Graves sat on a "board-level committee" for the United Way of Central Minnesota, not the group's board, according to the Star Tribune. Last week, the Republican Party of Minnesota put out opposition research that implied Graves had lied about his position in his online biography.
Rick Nolan linked Rep. Chip Cravaack to the closing of a Duluth-area manufacturing plant.
Cravaack and Nolan debate today in Duluth.
MPR will be hosting several congressional debates.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz and Allen Quist are debating today in Mankato. The debate is at 7:00 p.m. at Minnesota State University - Mankato.
The Fergus Falls Journal profiles Lee Byberg, who is running against Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson.
Mike Obermueller, who is challenging 2nd Congressional District Republican Rep. John Kline, launched his first TV ad today. All told, he's so far reserved nearly $500,000 in ad time between now and Nov. 6 on local broadcast. Kline has reserved more than $900,000 in the same markets.
The Presidential Campaign
There's only four weeks until the election.
The new Pew Research Center for People and the Press poll finds that Romney is tied with President Barack Obama among registered voters. Romney holds a lead among likely voters.
The Washington Post says there are eight important take-aways from the Pew poll results.
The FiveThirtyEight blog dissects the post-debate bounce.
Romney is up in Michigan, too.
Romney gave a speech about foreign policy Monday.
The fact-checkers said he got some statements wrong.
Obama fired back at Romney's speech.
Romney's campaign is trying to chip away at Obama's advantage in early voting states, the Associated Press reports.
Romney is resetting his Ohio campaign.
Posted at 7:31 AM on October 9, 2012
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8
As the sun came up over downtown Duluth Tuesday morning, supporters of DFL congressional candidate Rick Nolan drank coffee and held signs promoting Nolan and taking digs at incumbent Republican congressman Chip Cravaack. Among those outside the Duluth Playhouse where the debate will take place were a few dozen United Steel Workers Union members who traveled to Duluth from Iron Range communities.
Sue Pierce was among them in the photo below. She said she was from Hibbing.
The hour-long debate was set to begin at 8 am. Cravaack and Nolan are engaged in what's believed to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the country. Democrats have had their eyes on the seat since the fall of 2010 when Cravaack defeated long-time DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar. Numerous outside special-interest groups are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the race.
Posted at 11:49 AM on October 9, 2012
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Campaign 2012: Presidential Race
With four weeks to go before Election Day, it appears President Barack Obama has a comfortable lead in Minnesota according to a new poll by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.
Obama has the support of 53 percent of likely Minnesota voters, while Mitt Romney has 43 percent. Four percent say they haven't decided who they're voting for.
The firm's last poll had Obama leading by 7 percentage points.
Though Minnesotans overwhelmingly thought Romney won last week's debate - 64 percent said he came out on top - his performance hasn't given him a boost here as it did nationally.
"Mitt Romney's received a bounce nationally after his debate victory last week but not in Minnesota," said Public Policy Polling president Dean Debnam. "Barack Obama continues to lead by a healthy margin there."
The poll also asked voters whether they trust Obama or Romney more on the economy and foreign policy, and Obama leads on both questions.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar has a healthy lead over her Republican opponent Kurt Bills. If votes were cast today, she would snag 57 percent of the vote and Bills would take 31 percent. Twelve percent remain undecided about the race.
Perhaps Sesame Street character Big Bird should run for office in Minnesota, too.
According to the poll, 61 percent have a favorable view of the famous yellow bird, while 32 percent say they aren't sure how they feel about him. Just 7 percent say they have an unfavorable view of Big Bird.
The children's show icon has become the topic of campaign ads and talking points in the last week after Romney said in the debate that he would cut funding for PBS, which airs Sesame Street. Fifty-six percent of Minnesotans say they support federal funding for PBS, while 29 percent said they don't and 15 percent said they aren't sure.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 937 likely Minnesota voters from October 5-8. The margin of error for the survey is 3.2 percentage points.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, a group that lobbies against legalized abortion, has decided not to endorse DFL Rep. Collin Peterson for re-election.
MCCL spokesman Bil Poehler says his group has endorsed Peterson several times over the past few election cycles but said Peterson's stance on the federal health care law has prompted the MCCL to decide against endorsing him this year.
"We typically endorse candidates when they are 100 percent with us, but because he isn't with us on the Affordable Care Act, that's the case this time around," Poehler said.
Peterson is running for re-election in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, which includes much of the western part of the state. Poehler said his organization will not endorse anyone in the 7th. That hasn't stopped Republican Lee Byberg from using the MCCL's decision to his political advantage. Byberg, who lost to Peterson by nearly 18 percentage points in 2010, issued a statement criticizing Peterson.
"Obamacare is an abomination, and an affront to the conscience of millions of pro-life Americans. Collin Peterson gives lip service to our cause, but when the chips are down he votes with his party, not his conscience," Byberg said.
Peterson initially opposed the Affordable Care Act in 2009 but has voted against measures that would have defunded the program. He said earlier this year that the federal law known as Obamacare is "not all bad."
An official with Peterson's campaign said he just learned about MCCL's decision and said he would get back to me with a statement. I'll post it when it arrives.
MCCL's endorsement could play a factor in the 7th District. The group holds political power in many rural areas. For example, it endorsed Republican Chip Cravaack over DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010 because of Oberstar's support of the Affordable Care Act. Cravaack defeated Oberstar with the help of the MCCL's endorsement.