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Red Twin Cities: Republicans Backing Bachmann, Pawlenty

Despite her controversies, Patch's panel of Minnesota Republicans backs Michele Bachmann and likes her chances in the Sixth District.

Despite her penchant for controversial statements, Sixth District Rep. Michele Bachmann has the support of Minnesota Republicans. 

In our second "Red Twin Cities" survey, three out of four Republicans said Bachmann, who has been embroiled in public battles with fellow Rep. Keith Ellison and with media types in the past, has their support. 

And more than 90 percent of our respondents, a total of 54 Republicans from our "Red Twin Cities" panel, said her latest controversies will have no impact on her re-election hopes as she battles challenger Jim Graves of St. Cloud. 

"Her district already knows her," said one survey responder, "so her eccentricity is already baked in the cake." 

"The district is very Republican," said another. "She has a solid base."

Ninety-nine conservatives from Twin Cities Patch areas—from St. Michael to Woodbury, Fridley to Northfield—were surveyed last week in Patch’s second Twin Cities Red poll, which focused on November’s election.

We also asked our panel about former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an eight-year leader of the state's Republican party, and his chances for earning the vice presidential nod on Republican Mitt Romney's campaign for the White House. 

About 21 percent, or 11 of our 54 survey participants from last week, agreed with the statement that "Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is a strong choice for vice president." Another 34 percent, or 18, somewhat agree with that sentiment. 

But eight survey participants–15 percent–remained neutral on that question, with another 30 percent disagreeing somewhat or fully with that take, showing that Minnesota conservatives aren't fully behind the idea of Pawlenty on the ticket. 

. There, he tied "other" with 9.5 percent of the "vote" for who Missouri Republicans thought Romeny should pick. As for who they thought Romney would pick, Pawlenty did much better, getting 24 percent of the votes in the Missouri survey. 

The Red Twin Cities Survey

Our surveys are not a scientific, random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a group of influential local Republican activists, party leaders, candidates and elected officials in Minnesota. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in Minnesota Patch’s surveys, although not all responded to this story’s questions. Surveys were conducted from June 27 to July 1, 2012.

Patch will be conducting Red Twin Cities and Blue Twin Cities surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and progressives on the ground in Minnesota. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in periodic surveys that last just a few minutes, please contact Associate Regional Editor Mike Schoemer at mike.schoemer@patch.com.

Red Twin Cities Roster: Sara Anderson (candidate for State House), John Anderson (campaign chair, Palmer for House), David Arvidson (SD 46 candidate), Rep. Mike Beard (HD 35), Bryan Bjornson (Republican activist), Joe Blum (District 52A candidate), Mike Boguszewski (Congressional Dist. 4), Reed Bornholdt (Richfield GOP), Christopher Burns (Woodbury), Nick Caron (campaign mgr. Tuschy for House), Roger Champagne (SD 46 candidate), Matt Chase (treasurer Dist. 46), Steve Cherney, Janalee Cooper, David Cote (Honeywell CEO), Jennifer DeJournett (VOICES of Conservative Women founder), Rep. Bob Dettmer (39A), Don Dickerson (Roseville GOP), Bob Erickson (Lakeville School Board), Kelley Fenton (GOP deputy chair MN), Chris Fields, David FitzSimmons (HD 30B), Mark Fotsch (HD 66A), Hal Fotsch (Dist. 39 organizer), Sen. David Gaither, Stan Genadek, David Gerson (Candidate for Congress), Dennis Gilliespe (Richfield), Richard Glasgow (Washington Co. GOP), Sen. David Hahn, Tim Hall, Sen. Dan Hall, Garold Healy (Hopkins mayoral candidate), Mike Held (SD46 GOP), Dale Helm (candidate 41A), Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, Jeanne Holland (STMA Schools), Sue Holman McCarville (Hopkins GOP), Karin Housley (SD 39), Terry Jacobsen (House Dist. 49B), Arylahn Johnson (HD 49B), Mark Johnson (chair of SD 56), Reid Johnson (candidate for HD 45B), Mike Kaess (SD 51 chair), Emilie Kastner, Rep. Andrea Kieffer (HD 56), Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (SD 30 candidate), Former Sen. Amy Koch (former majority leader), Jon Koznick, Don Lee, Sen. Ted Lillie (Woodbury), Sen. Warren Limmer, Terry McCall, Rep. Joe McDonald (Delano), Mike McGinn, Mike McCllean, Cory Merrifeld (Save the Vikes.org), Gary Mertz (SD49 Communications), Former Sen. Geoff Michel, Dan Morehead (GOP activist), Andrew Mullin (Wayzata city council), Rep. Pam Myhra (Burnsville), Richard Novack (delegate), Kevin O’Donovan (Richfield GOP), Jon Olson (former campaign manager for Chris Fields), Laura Palmer (HD 41), Sarah Patzloff (Edina schools), Jeff Pauley, Rep. Joyce Peppin (Rogers/Maple Grove), Roz Peterson (Lakeville), Camden Pike (Party chair, SD41), Lt. Col. Alex Plechash (head of MN Org. of GOP Vets), Bill Pulkrabek (Washington Co. Commission), Dwight Rabuse (SD 52 candidate), Erik Radtke (staffer, Emmer for Gov.), John Rheinberger (Wash Co. GOP), former Sen. Claire Robling, Mitch Rossow (SD 61 secretary), Chuck Roulet (SD 32 co-chair), Bron Scherer (MN GOP treasurer), Donna Schmidt, Al Schneider (Kline for Congress), Paul Scofield (HD 46), Joe Slamon (SD 53 chair), Chris Soukup, Mark Stefan (HD44B challenger), Rep. Kirk Stensrud (H 48A), Brett Steven (SD 62 secretary), Tom Swain (former mayor of Lilydale), Sen. John Swanson, Lynn Swon, Sen Roy Terwilliger, Sen. Dave Thompson, Blair Tremere (Golden Valley ex-mayor), Paul Tuschy (HD 52B candidate), Shaji Varghese (HD 51A chair), Lynn Wardlow, Tiana Wells (national delegate), Aramis Wells (Ron Paul for Pres.), Mark Westphal (HD 39 chair), Tim Wilkin (former state rep.), former Rep. Kelby Woodard (Northfield), Mark Zasadny (national GOP delegate), Hannah Zasadny (local delegate), Dennis Holman (SD 45), Candace Oathout (District 45 GOP), Jeff Kolb (Fields for Congress) and Rep. Kurt Zellers, Speaker of the House.

Susan August 08, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Markus, you and I could debate "extremes", but it's probably best to agree to disagree, as we have basically done this before. Donald, I did offer up a suggestion...since most Americans do not sit firmly on the far right or far left, how about if Patch polls informed, registered voters who haven't run for office... And Patch, yes I know, we as readers can put together our own blog's and/or stories and submit them. I am simply saying that if Patch wants to be more informative to their readers, this is not the way to do it...as has been noted several times.
Jim Edward August 08, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Randy Marsh, why do you keep posting to such a rediculous subject. If I didn't like what I read here I wouldn't open up any more E-mails on this subject. Evidently it's not as stupid as you claim, as you continue to come back to this subject. Please make up your mind.
Norman Teigen August 08, 2012 at 01:16 PM
By your own admission, the survey results are meaningless. Why publish this junk?
Becky Anderson August 08, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Because we all read it and comment on it, just as I foolishly did.
Paul August 08, 2012 at 06:34 PM
It was the liberal media that decided Republican should be "red" and that Democrat should be "blue". Ironic, as other comments indicate, since red is indeed the historical color of socialism and communism, the planks of today's Democrat Party. Further irony comes from origins: it was liberal media socialists who decided to paint Republicans "red". Thus is revealed the real "red menace"... a doublespeaking media behaving in the worst of ways George Orwell warned western civilization about in his book "1984" -- a book he wrote as an exploration of the ultimate end of socialist movements ... Yet Republican conservatives, and conservatives generally, are the ones actually opposed to red socialism. The ironies abound.
Paul August 08, 2012 at 06:50 PM
This article has real value in at least one way. Regardless that Democrats are uniformly liberal, it remains true that Republicans include both liberals and conservatives, and that the two are locked in conflict over control of the Republican Party at many levels. Thus there are real possibilities that, as liberals paint it, on occasion a conservative may actually say something that isolates them. Liberal media continually tries to paint Bachman as isolated and extremist. This article shows things are not quite aligning with the vision that liberal media pundits try to create the impression of. For disrupting the liberal talking points, this article has value. There is at least 1 more measure of value to this article: freedom of speech. As to those offended, or who say they are, it's simple. If you don't like the article, you still have the freedom to not read it. Yet those commenting against this article are insisting it never be posted, and nothing similar be posted in the future. If they have thier way, then people who are interested would be unable to read it. Indeed, unlucky are people in socialist societies, where everybody has a right to believe only the self-appointed leaders' perspectives. Yet this is still a free country, so if you don't like any article, just simply don't read and don't respond. Allow others to have thier say too. At the least, nobody has any right to insist this article never be published; how much closer to censorship can one go?
Susan August 08, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Paul, I hope you agree that my First Amendment right to post my disappointment of these articles (and your approval) is as important as Patch's right to publish it... I have to believe that part of the reason Patch allows such an open forum is to get feedback, which they are getting. I am not "insulted" or "offended", only disappointed that Patch didn't choose to poll the general public vs the party leaders.
Donald Lee August 08, 2012 at 07:12 PM
The current conventional color scheme is indeed ironic, but its origins are more historical accident than liberal plot, as I understand it. This article in the NYT does a pretty good job of covering the history. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/08/weekinreview/ideas-trends-one-state-two-state-red-state-blue-state.html
Paul August 08, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Susan: Of course, as a conservative, I wholly support your right to expression as equal to everybody else's right to do the same. Obviously, opinions on things posted are far different than calling for lack of posting in the first place. To the degree that you stop short of calling for absence of publishing articles like this one, then obviously to that degree I support your right to expression; put another way: to the degree you admit others' rights to post as they see fit, then my "freedom of speech" remarks are to the same degree not addressing your comments. As an aside, I appreciate your politeness in asking for clarification!
Paul August 08, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Indeed, there is some discussion on "how" red came to be the liberal's assignment of Republican. But in some ways, the discussion is almost meaningless, because history itself casts severe doubt on mere coincidence. And, I'm old enough to remember this history first-hand; I lived through it and have spent a life paying attention to all things political. First, the liberal media was breathtakingly bold in engaging in doublespoke in the worst of "1984" style, when trying to pin all the bad communist things Orwell explored in his book, as somehow a set of hidden objectives of the clearly anti-communist Reagan. Second, the communists took red for their own color, and throughout the 20th Century red became utterly synonymous with communist. (Gone was any memory of how the British Empire used red on its maps for the express purpose that all the British colonies would stand out with best possible contrast, no matter how small they each were.) Third, the liberal American media is hardly random in how its members protray the news, as revealed in any visit to "Communications" classes in universities, and as revealed in any lengthy exposure to media types in the workplace. Thus history itself reveals the utterly complete identification with "red" and "communist" by the end of the 20th Century and, despite liberal American media protests today, historical fact strongly refutes against any serious conclusion that the media's color choice was entirely or even mostly coincidence.
Susan August 08, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I'm not quite sure that I told Patch not to publish, in fact, I took your advice and stated that I won't read any more of these. It's a shame because I really enjoy Patch and find some of the articles and comments to be informative and entertaining. I find that this series is neither, and hope Patch will go in a different (or additional) direction when reporting information regarding the upcoming and important election.
Paul August 08, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Yet, media color-assigning set aside, I was also merging that assignment of color to today's commentary on this article. The more immediate "doublespeak" I was also refering to was in comments posted here, comparing conservatives as equivalent to anything communists ever promoted. Upon review, I can now see that my double thrust in meaning was not entirely clear even when I posted "... as other comments indicate ..." and concluded with "The ironies abound." Thanks for pointing out the lack of clarity; I now see my comment was a bit too muddled to be clear on refering both to liberal media color assignment as well as also to the more immediate liberal doublespeak ironies posted in comments to this article.
Donald Lee August 08, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Clarity and courtesy are always appreciated. Thank you. I do not dispute your contention that red has historically been associated with communists/socialists. I was referring specifically to the modern practice of calling states and localities "red" and "blue". I have a saying that I try to live by - Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence. Substitute "conspiracy" and "chance" and it applies equally well.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) August 08, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Folks, I'm going to jump in here only to answer a few questions about WHY we are doing this. As stated in the article, "Patch will be conducting Red Twin Cities and Blue Twin Cities surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and progressives on the ground in Minnesota." That's our point. These aren't ALL elected officials. Many work on campaigns or within the party. I, for one, find it interesting that, despite the rancor Mrs. Bachmann can sometimes get with one of her quips, she still gets great support from her party. Interesting, IMHO. And yes, there is plenty more to come on state and local issues, including taxes, spending and the two amendment issues. Why aren't we going to 100 voters? Because that's an article you can read somewhere else. We chose to turn to people within the parties because A. They're in the grinder and B. They're going to vote. Can you say that for every "dial-a-voter" poll?
Susan August 08, 2012 at 10:05 PM
No, but I don't think those who are so involved with one side or the other are a true representation of the general electorate. I appreciate your explanation, Mike, but I don't think it has changed my opinion. I wasn't suggesting a standard "dial-a-voter poll", only a little more representation of what the real voting pool looks like, but, as pointed out, it is your publication and I will respect your right to publish what you find to be informative.
Randy Marsh August 08, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Mike, you claim to pursue "the true sentiment of conservatives and progressives on the ground in Minnesota", but the folks polled do not fit this description. I would guess if you were being honest you would admit that the amount of time and attention you spend polling people whose opinions are already fairly obvious is a complete waste of time, but let's face it, you're probably too far down that road to stop now. To even suggest that any insights gained from these GOP and DFL loyalists are more valuable than the dial-a-voter poll(s) is ridiculous and you're smarter than that. In a way, you're not much different than many of these politicos who lobby for things their party tells them to support rather than what they actually believe. Somehow I find that easier to swallow when it comes to a politician than an alleged journalist. I mean, shouldn't your goal be to tell us something we don't already know?
Randy Marsh August 08, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Paul, you would be wise to understand that a growing political base includes former Republicans who are fed up with the uber conservatives taking over the party and now consider themselves independents or moderate democrats. I would never advocate for censorship, but I fully support accountability for really stupid ideas. There's a big difference between can't and shouldn't. You clearly support bad ideas and I'll leave that up to others to determine what that actually says about you.
Donald Lee August 09, 2012 at 12:17 AM
What better information than to list EVERY person who is in the poll? Even if they are all automatons enslaved by "the party", many of these are in office, and their opinions are at least of note. "The party" is not some vast, overarching machine that enforces a strict loyalty oath and tosses heretics into a dungeon. I see above the comments of someone who knows absolutely nothing of the modern Republican party in Minnesota. No one who has any exposure at all to the Republican party in the last few years could possibly believe these things. I am also insulted by the sneer obvious in some of these comments, as though my opinion is not my own, that I am not capable of holding opinions different from "the party". This does not rise to the level of idle gossip. It is someone spouting ignorance. The opinions of those who disagree with me often seem irrational to me, but I value my conversations with those who are willing to carefully examine their positions and determine how and why we come to different conclusions. I do not simply dismiss them as mindless, or stupid. We owe the Patch editors and each other a modicum of respect.
Susan August 09, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Donald wrote: ""The party" is not some vast, overarching machine that enforces a strict loyalty oath and tosses heretics into a dungeon." Not the dungeon, but Grover Norquist will certainly make it difficult for a reelection campaign of Republicans want to speak out against the ban on any new taxes or the expiration of current tax cuts. Look, Donald, I truly do appreciate your input here on Patch, what I don't like is when you write with certainty how all people should live in the country, or when you imply that there should be no safety net for those who may truly need it. This is why I don't like this poll, I think, for the most part, that the movers and shakers (on either side) will fall in line publicly with the pubic position of their party. Yet when I talk to other registered Republicans who are knowledgeable on the issues, they seem to believe in a more moderate approach. If this makes me ignorant, then so be it, but let's keep in mind your condemnation of others who have pointed fingers and called names.
Randy Marsh August 09, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Do you honestly believe that, Donald? I think there are plenty of examples of consequences for those who have had the audacity to vote their conscience rather than down party lines. Perhaps you've forgotten what happened to a handful of Republicans who had the audacity to support a small increase of the gas tax a few years back. How did Pawlenty and the GOP respond and how did that work out for those brave folks? Also, I asked above but you chose not to show a modicum of respect and answer just what it was that you learned from a polling of people who pretty much all think alike on the major issues? Respectfully, Randy.
Jerry Baustian August 09, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Regarding Congresswoman Bachmann, her "eccentricities" and "her controversies with fellow Rep. Keith Ellison"... he is the eccentric one and deserves even more scrutiny than he's received. As for Tim Pawlenty... it seems as though Twin Cities Republicans are about as enthusiastic about him being chosen for VP as Republicans in the rest of the country. That is, not enthusiastic at all.
Donald Lee August 09, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Yes. I try to avoid saying things I don't believe. "If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately". Politics is like that, but there is some subtlety involved here, that is lost with the hyperbole and dismissive rhetoric. Having run for office, and been working with the GOP the last few years, I think it is likely that I have had more "unguarded" conversations with Republicans than those who are so sure I am wrong. I know of no-one who is an unthinking team player. Everyone I know has passion and conviction. For that matter, my little bit of contact with DFL-ers leaves me with the same impression. Do they downplay their personal opinions for the cameras? When talking to someone who is probably ideologically hostile? I suspect so. I do. Do I think the DFL-ers are ideologically rigid on some things? yes. I can certainly think of a few DFL litmus tests. Can't you? Do I accuse them of being unthinking cogs in the DFL machine? no.
Randy Marsh August 09, 2012 at 03:31 AM
So we agree that Republicans and Democrats are pretty much the same type of people with some philosophical differences. I also noticed you have not answered some specific questions I posed and given that you try to avoid saying things you don't believe I will just assume that your silence is an admission of agreement with my assertions. Also, in response to your statement that "I know of no-one who is an unthinking team player" I will assume you have never met Kathy Lohmer, but in her defense it's only fair to mention that she is simply not smart enough to think for herself.
Donald Lee August 09, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Useful conversations do not include ad hominem attacks.
Randy Marsh August 09, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Take your ball and go home whenever you run out of canned responses to direct questions, huh Donald. At least have the decency to wave a white flag when your conservative playbook has run out of comebacks. You stopped answering direct questions long before the alleged ad hominem attacks (truthful, though they were) began, but I guess this is a more graceful way to bow out of the otherwise productive discussion taking place.
Chris Buckley August 09, 2012 at 03:21 PM
To clarify, my comment was meant to point out that the article told the average reader nothing new or interesting. It did generate quite a few comments, which I suppose is one of the metrics AOL uses to judge their Patch employee performance. If you're into statistics, here's a few on this article. 930 words, (6112 characters) to convey information that could easily be fit into a 9 cell table. 43 Comments (at this time) which boil down to: 4 comments addressing the actual survey results. 7 off-topic comments on the association of colors with political parties. 20 comments discussing the usefulness or lack thereof of the article. 1 Defense of the usefulness of the article. And the balance of comments are just trolling, or readers unable to comprehend other commenter's posts and starting flamewars. I realize that it would be hard to get dignitaries in either political party to say anything of substance if they knew it would be attributed to them. Perhaps you can find a way to extract some useful, surprising, or otherwise generally not common sense information from the surveys. Do sitting representatives have different views than candidates? Is there anything that both sides agree on and can be productive lawmakers addressing? Young Dems/Repubs views differing from the old guard? The article differs from generic polls in packaging only. It merely repeats the same results, using a much smaller sample size, which makes for interesting margin of error only.
Donald Lee August 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
The commentary generated on this post is powerful testament to its being "interesting". People don't post when they don't care.
Chris Buckley August 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM
You DO realize this is the Internet, don't you Donald? Things don't have to be interesting to generate comment. People will just type off-topic comments, or just try to antagonize others if the intended content isn't interesting. Thoughtful articles beget thoughtful posts. Drivel begets flame wars and people screaming about their righteousness compared to their ideological opponents. I'm not saying that the survey participants have nothing interesting to contribute, just that it hasn't been presented to the readership yet.
Resident of Oakdale November 07, 2012 at 09:15 AM
Totally want Bachmann out. She is over the top annoying. Can't wait for her to crawl under a rock.
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