The bad news for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) keeps piling up. Polling indicates he’s neck-and-neck with challenger Al Franken. 13 months ago he had a 20% lead. The occupation of Iraq hasn’t gotten anymore popular and we passed the grisly milestone of 4,000 American troops dead. Norm has no plan except to stay longer. More and more Americans view the Bush Administration as a failure. Bush’s approval rating ranges from 19% to 31%. The Republican brand is in shambles. Republicans are having trouble fundraising. Grandpa McSame is sounding more and more like a Bush clone. With news that the subprime mortgage crisis is walloping Wall Street and Main Street indescriminately, we have news about how average, non-metro Minnesotans view the economy.
As the economy continues to struggle, residents in outstate Minnesota appear to be even more anxious than those in the metro area.
A new poll says only 19 percent of Minnesotans outside the seven-county metro area believe they will be better off financially a year from now. Thirty-five percent think they will be worse off. (MPR)
Republicans never do well in a bad economy. Especially a bad economy that they helped create. It just puts voters in a foul mood that gets reflected at the polls with an anti-incumbent mentality.
In addition to cheerleading Bush’s failed economic policies, Norm has opposed real healthcare reform and voted for No Child Left Behind. Of course, he and his fellow Republicans failed to adequately fund NCLB and turned it into a unfunded mandate that is crippling our schools. On the healthcare front, Norm is hoping that holding lots of forums on healthcare will make up for his opposition to real reform.
Outstate Minnesota residents say health care (40 percent), jobs and the economy (39 percent) and education (35 percent) were their top three concerns, according to the poll. Taxes weren’t far behind at 34 percent, with immigration and infrastructure in the second tier of issues. (MPR)
Unfortunately, cutting taxes at this stage won’t help Norm much. It won’t help outstate Minnesotans all that much. What they need … what we all need … is a strong economy. As mayor of St. Paul, Norm produced jobs at a slower pace for his city than the state did as a whole. His record as Senator isn’t anything to write home about. He’s fiscally irresponsible and his only solution is to cut taxes for the wealthy. That isn’t going to help outstate Minnesotans struggling to get by.