Two annual Minnesota State Fair polls released Tuesday show broad support for progressive policy initiatives in the state, including driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and an end to abortion bans.
The informal, unscientific surveys are conducted annually by the House Public Information Services Office and the Senate Information Office. This year, 11,239 fairgoers participated in the 12-question House survey and 6,900 participated in the Senate poll.
According to the results of the House poll, 50 percent of respondents don’t think residents should be required to provide proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the country to obtain a driver’s license, compared to 42 percent who agree with the current requirements.
The poll found massive support (89 percent) for criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions and at gun shows. Just nine percent of respondents disapproved of universal background checks.
In the Senate poll, 84 percent of respondents said they support red-flag laws, which allow for the court-ordered removal of firearms from citizens who are deemed a threat to themselves or others.
A majority of respondents in the House poll don’t think the state should provide tax credits on donations to fund scholarships to private schools.
On the issue of paid family leave, 53 percent of participants support the creation of a new insurance program to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave funded by a new tax on employers and employees.
Another 61 percent said they disagree with banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, while a similar majority (60 percent) support restoring voting rights to felons immediately upon release from a correctional facility.
Both polls recorded broad support for legalizing recreational marijuana.
The results of the polls were widely discussed on social media Tuesday.
“It seems pretty clear that Senate Republicans are ignoring the deep concerns Minnesotans have about gun violence in our communities. It’s time for background checks and red-flag laws non,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley) wrote on Twitter.
It seems pretty clear that Senate Republicans are ignoring the deep concerns Minnesotans have about gun violence in our communities. It’s time for #BackgroundChecks and #RedFlagLaws now. https://t.co/dRtxP1vrAW
— Ryan Winkler (@_RyanWinkler) September 3, 2019
The Senate’s poll notes that just 12 percent of participants were from rural Minnesota, while 37 percent were from the Twin Cities and 43 percent were from the suburbs. The House poll didn’t track information on demographics.
During the fair, which concluded Monday, the Minnesota DFL conducted a “bean ballot” straw poll of 2020 presidential candidates. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) won the poll, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) took second.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Minnesota State Fair” by Runner1928. CC BY-SA 4.0.