At the height of the drama (or lack thereof) surrounding the legislatures passage of the Vikings stadium bill, KSTP sent their pollster, SurveyUSA, into the field to find out what voters think about it.
The headline number out of the poll is the finding that, for the first time since polling of the Vikings stadium issue began, a plurality of respondents now support the building of a stadium to replace the metrodome.
Should the Minnesota Vikings keep playing football in the Metrodome without renovating it? Should they renovate the stadium and keep playing in it? Or should a new stadium be built?
Keep Playing, Don’t Renovate 16 (22)
Renovate the Metrodome 36 (40)
Build a New Stadium 43 (33)
Over the course of the six months since SurveyUSA last polled this issue, ten points have shifted from the “Don’t Renovate/Renovate,” column to the “Build a New Stadium” column. And if the Twins stadium is any guide, that sentiment will only get stronger over time.
“Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mark Dayton is doing as Governor?”
Approve 56 (50)
Disapprove 33 (33)
“Do you approve or disapprove of the job the State Legislature is doing?”
Approve 21 (17)
Disapprove 67 (65)
The legislature recovered a couple of net approval points, but considering their previous performance they didn’t really have anywhere else to go but up.
It’s hard not to see all of this as a big political win for Mark Dayton, who has managed to out maneuver the GOP legislature on issue after issue, which has just got to drive them crazy.
This next pair of questions might help to illustrate why the stadium vote wasn’t as close as many had suspected it would be.
SurveyUSA (5/11, no trend lines):
If a lawmaker voted in favor of the Vikings stadium would that make you more likely to vote for him in November? Less likely? Or would it make no difference?
More Likely 23
Less Likely 27
No Difference 47
If a lawmaker voted against the Vikings stadium would that make you more likely to vote for him in November? Less likely? Or would it make no difference?
More Likely 25
Less Likely 29
No Difference 44
The clear plurality of respondents said it made no difference to them how a lawmaker voted on the stadium. Not only that, but the number of respondents who say they will be more or less likely to support someone because of their vote are about equally split.
This combination of a lack of strong opinions among a plurality of the electorate, and a split among those who do feel strongly on this matter means that lawmakers election opponents probably won’t get much traction out of this issue no matter how that lawmaker voted.
Should legalized gambling be expanded in Minnesota to raise revenue to help finance a new stadium for the Vikings?
Yes 55 (58)
No 33 (36)
Should any tax dollars be used to help finance a new stadium for the Vikings? Or should any new stadium be built entirely with private funding?
Tax Dollars 36 (26)
Entirely with Private Funding 58 (65)
Should there be a public vote before any taxes are raised to pay for a Vikings stadium?
Yes 67 (73)
No 27 (21)
If the Vikings do not get a new stadium, do you think they will move out of Minnesota?
Yes 57 (47)
No 25 (30)
The movement in the numbers of the last question, a ten point increase in the number of people who thought the Vikings would actually leave if they didn’t get a stadium, could be the driving force of the movement in the question at the top of the post, as well as others.
The amount of respondents who want a new stadium build and think tax dollars should be used, both increased by an identical ten points. Since the time frame between these polls is six months its hard to say exactly what caused this movement, but what is clear is that proponents of the stadium won the messaging war and that victory is likely what lead to the bills easy passage.