by Max Brantley
Polling in Minnesota inevitably raises the question of whether the results represent trending national sentiment, or just a highly local phenomenom.
* Voters like the Democratic governor.
* Republicans in the legislature have a "remarkably bad" favorability spread — 29-58
* To balance the budget, 63 percent of Minnesotans favor a plan that includes tax increases for the wealthy, only 32 percent favor a "cuts-only" solution.
* Enthusiasm for presidential bids by local pols Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann is scant.
* It's a statistical tie, but voters oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage 47-46. It's close only because of the overwhelming anti-gay preference among older voters. They'll be dying off, of course. Pollster comments:
There aren't a lot of policy issues I would say this about but public opinion on gay marriage is shifting so quickly that it wouldn't be surprise me if opposition to this amendment grows by 5 or 6 points in the 17 months between now and next November's election. My guess is that an anti-gay ballot initiative that polls as a tie in May 2011 fails in November 2012.
The word is circulating that generic Republican preference is way down in Arkansas from 2010. That should follow from the performance of people like Mark Martin and Justin Harris and Jon Hubbard and others. But the Republican Party is steady ginning out messaging on Obama-Pelosi, which worked so well last time.