Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | minnesota | johnson | walz | governor

Poll: Republican Jeff Johnson in Striking Distance of Minnesota Governorship

jeff johnson speaks at a campaign rally
Republican Jeff Johnson (Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018 06:42 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Just as national Republicans were sending signals they had written off winning the open governorship of Minnesota, a new Minneapolis Star-Tribune/MPR News Minnesota poll shows something else: that the Democratic favorite, Rep. Tim Walz, held a tighter-than-ever lead of 45 percent to 39 percent over Jeff Johnson, conservative Republican and Hennepin County Commissioner.

The same survey showed 4 percent of Gopher State voters supporting minor party candidates and 12 percent undecided. 

The survey, released Monday, came a month after the Republican Governors Association’s decision to cancel its planned $2.3 expenditure on Johnson’s behalf—in effect, writing off his chances of succeeding lame duck Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

Most analysts view Hennepin County Commissioner and former state legislator Jeff Johnson to be within striking distance of Congressman Tim Walz in Minnesota's 2018 gubernatorial race, but have Walz as the odds-on favorite to win. 

Minnesota is a difficult state for polling, because samples cannot by pre-selected by party registration, since MN voters do not list party registration in the voter registration process.  Furthermore, the poll done by the most prominent newspaper in the state, the Star Tribune, has notoriously underestimated Republican candidate performance in the past.  Nevertheless, their latest poll shows Johnson trailing Walz by six percentage points, with 12 percent still undecided.  An earlier Star Tribune poll had Walz with a nine-point lead.

"Johnson is more aggressively challenging Walz than he did Gov. Dayton in 2014,” veteran Minnesota conservative activist John Augustine told Newsmax, noting that Johnson has hit the Democrat hard for saying he would sign a gas tax increase.

Augustine noted that the RGA’s decision to pull out of Minnesota hurt Johnson.  However, he also noted that Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently came in to stump on Johnson’s behalf.  Johnson was a prominent supporter of Rubio in Minnesota in 2016, and Rubio's caucus victory here was about his best showing nationwide. 

“The visit may provide some needed late financial and volunteer morale boost, but will it be too little, too late?” said Augustine. 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Just as national Republicans were sending signals they had written off winning the open governorship of Minnesota, a new Minneapolis Star-Tribune/MPR News Minnesota poll showed something else: that the Democratic favorite, Rep. Tim Walz, held a tighter-than-ever...
minnesota, johnson, walz, governor
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2018-42-24
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 06:42 AM
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