The anti-Jensen attack ads flooding Minnesotans’ airwaves are funded in large part by a left-wing super PAC called Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
According to new campaign finance reports, the group has spent $8.9 million on digital and TV ads against Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen since May. That accounts for more than 80% of the $10.5 million it has raised this year.
From Aug. 12 to Sept. 9, the group was dropping more than $700,000 a week on TV ads against Jensen. In 2018, the PAC spent a total of $5.3 million against Republican Jeff Johnson.
Campaign finance records show Alliance for a Better Minnesota received $4.6 million from the 2022 Fund, $3.6 million from the Democratic Governor’s Association, and $1.6 million from the WIN Minnesota Political Action Fund.
The 2022 Fund received $1 million in contributions from Alida Messinger, the ex-wife of former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and an heir to the Rockefeller oil monopoly. She has also contributed $500,000 to the DFL State Central Committee.
The 2022 Fund and WIN Minnesota list the same address and treasurer on their campaign finance reports, and they office out of the same St. Paul building as Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
Gov. Tim Walz still has more cash available than his Republican challenger, Dr. Scott Jensen, but that’s not where the real action is, Center of the American Experiment policy fellow Bill Glahn told Alpha News. He said he doesn’t put a lot of stock in those numbers because they compare a “Republican who just started running last year to an incumbent who’s been raising money for the last four years.”
“When the legacy media talk about campaign finance, they almost always focus on individual candidates and how much money they’ve raised, with the idea being it’s some sort of proxy for how popular they are and what kind of popular support they have,” Glahn said.
“Those numbers are almost completely irrelevant to what the outcomes are going to be. You look at how much money these other groups raise outside of the individual candidates, it just dwarfs them by almost two orders of magnitude,” he explained.
As of August, Glahn found the DFL and its allies had raised nearly $38 million. Some of that money is double counted when it’s transferred between allied committees.
Jensen has managed to raise $4.2 million since launching his campaign, which is a record for Republican gubernatorial candidates in Minnesota, he said. Walz has raised $4.4 million this year, compared to Jensen’s $3 million in 2022.
“This stereotype that Republicans are the party of the rich has to be out of date by 100 years,” Glahn said. “The reason why the Democrats have this war chest of 40 to $50 million to spend is because they’re getting billionaires and super-wealthy people to donate.”
Despite the lopsided spending totals, an internal poll released Sunday by Jensen’s campaign has him statistically tied with Walz. The poll, conducted by Cygnal, has Walz at 47.6% to Jensen’s 44.2%, nearly identical to the results of a recent Alpha News/Trafalgar Group poll.
“The conventional wisdom of polls is when an incumbent is under 50%, the undecideds break against the incumbent,” Glahn said. “As long as he’s under 50%, he’s vulnerable.”