The co-founder and publisher of RealClearPolitics, the nonpartisan political news website best known for its aggregation of election polls, has called the Minnesota gubernatorial race his “sleeper.”
Appearing on “The Charlie Kirk Show” this past Friday, Tom Bevan claimed that Dr. Scott Jensen has a chance of beating Gov. Tim Walz if Republican voters demonstrate a high turnout at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
“I think given the way that state has moved over the last couple of cycles … that race is one to keep an eye on because … if Republicans turn out on election day, that could very well be an upset,” Bevan said. “So keep an eye on that one.”
In the premiere Alpha News/Trafalgar Group statewide poll released on Sept. 20, Jensen trailed Walz by just 2.7%, with 4.9% of Minnesota voters still undecided. Walz’s narrow 47.7% to 45% lead is within the poll’s 2.9% margin of error.
Earlier polls had Walz well ahead of Jensen. A KSTP/Survey USA poll, for instance, showed the governor ahead of his challenger by a whopping 18-point margin.
The top two issues for Minnesota voters, according to the Alpha News/Trafalgar Group poll, are crime and the economy. Two-thirds of voters identified reducing crime as one of the most important issues: 41.5% said it was their most important issue, while another 24.8% said it was their second most important.
Moreover, nearly half of voters identified growing the economy as one of the most important issues: 21.6% had it as their top issue, and 24.8% had it as their second most important.
Republicans across the state have made a tough-on-crime approach a centerpiece of their platforms, as well as scathing criticism of Democrats on their handling of the economy.
Economically, inflation remains a particular point of concern, even as gas prices have come down in recent weeks and the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates. Persistently high inflation levels are due in large part to the stubbornly high costs of food and rent.
Gov. Walz’s “ambitious” plans to overhaul state energy policy have recently come under fire from Republicans as well.