June 1, 2006


Minnesota: More a purple state than a blue state now (Katherine Kersten, 5/21/06, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

The latest Star Tribune Minnesota Poll provoked gasps of disbelief last week. The poll found that more people in Hubert Humphrey's home state now call themselves Republicans than Democrats. Republican-identified Minnesotans outnumbered Democrats 29 percent to 25 percent.

We shouldn't put Minnesota Democrats on the endangered species list just yet, and Republicans can hardly break out the champagne. But the poll -- with its 3.6 percentage-point margin of sampling error -- clearly confirms that the two parties are now at parity in our state.

One thing is certain: It's not your granddad's Minnesota anymore. [...]

A 2003 Minnesota Poll seems to bear this out. The poll found that 47 percent of all Minnesota adults reported attending worship services once a week or more. The figure was 63 percent for Republicans, 40 percent for independents and 36 percent for Democrats.

Is increasing church attendance a factor in Republican fortunes in Minnesota? John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, says that some data suggest that church attendance has grown here since 1992 -- up from less than 41 percent to 48 percent in 2004.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2006 2:16 PM

We were just in Minneapolis/St. Paul last weekend and the subject of concealed carry came up. She Who Is Perfect In All Ways wondered how that could get passed in Minnesota, but this looks like the explanation.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 1, 2006 2:31 PM

I don't know, the poll may be skewed. I know a few Minnesotans who consider listening to Prairie Home Companion the same as attending a religious service.

Posted by: Shelton at June 1, 2006 3:38 PM

Party affiliation always lags voting.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 1, 2006 4:02 PM

#2 son is a pre-div student at a Christian college in the Twin Cities and has told me that the "revival" (his term) is real and growing in Minnesota especially in the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas. Scarier still for the traditional DFL types is that the "revival" according to my son is growing fastest among teens and young adults. I asked him about this and he expects MN to be a solid red state in 5-10 years.

Posted by: jeff at June 1, 2006 4:46 PM

I know a few Minnesotans who consider listening to Prairie Home Companion the same as attending a religious service.

Not sure that's dispositive of anything. Red-stater though I be, I used to be a loyal PHC listener, back before I knew what an absolute jerk Garrison Keillor is when he's not telling stories. Still like the stories, though.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 1, 2006 5:01 PM

Garrison Keillor, Minnesota's 2nd most unfunny humorist.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 1, 2006 5:35 PM

Franken did do that thing on SNL where he was an on the scene reporter with his entire broadcasting apparatus on his head. That was funny. It was also like 20 years ago.

Posted by: Pepys at June 1, 2006 6:42 PM

Used to like Keillor's stories too. Until I realized he didn't have respect, but rather derision, for the "common folk" he was portraying.

Posted by: jdkelly at June 1, 2006 7:44 PM

Before his "retirement" (circa 1987-88), Keillor seemed to have a genuine affection for his characters. When he came back for PHC v2.0, that's when he got contemptuous.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 1, 2006 10:32 PM

Mike, wasn't that when he came back from Denmark after his marriage broke up? Maybe living in a socialist country wasn't the paradise he'd imagined it would be and he became disillusioned about his former world view, but didn't have anything with which to replace it.

Posted by: erp at June 2, 2006 8:22 AM