FOX News Election Day Poll: Minnesota (U.S. Senate)

Republican candidates did surprisingly well in Minnesota in the 2002 elections, with Republican Norm Coleman upsetting Walter Mondale for U.S. Senate, and Republican Tim Pawlenty easily winning what was expected to be a close election for governor.

While the success of the Republican Party in Minnesota mirrored the results in many other states, the context of the election was unique.  The recent entry into the race of Walter Mondale following the death of Paul Wellstone meant there was little time for advertising, and little time for voters to compare the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Perhaps for this reason, Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Election Day polls showed most Democrats and Republicans remained loyal to their parties; 90 percent of Democrats voted for Mondale, and 93 percent of Republicans voted for Coleman.  Norm Coleman had a substantial advantage among Independents, who voted for Coleman over Mondale by a 48 percent to 38 percent margin, and which proved decisive in the election. 

Typically, following the death of a candidate for public office, the party of that candidate benefits from sympathy for the deceased.  However, in Minnesota, a highly controversial memorial service held for Senator Wellstone appears to have negated any benefits the Democrats otherwise would have received.  Over one-third (35 percent) of all voters, including 30 percent of Independents, said the Democrats acted inappropriately following the death of Paul Wellstone. This was especially crucial given the lack of other issues in the last week of the campaign.

Mondale‚Äôs age may have also been a factor for some voters.  Approximately one-third (34 percent) of Independents were somewhat or very concerned that Mondale may be too old to serve effectively as senator.  In general, voters were far more likely to vote for a candidate based on personal character and experience (43 percent), than on positions on national issues (21 percent) or on local and state issues (21 percent). 

While issues were secondary to other factors, the issues that mattered most were the economy (26 percent), education (18 percent), abortion (14 percent) and taxes (13 percent).  Mondale had an advantage among voters who are concerned about the economy and education, while Coleman had a large advantage among voters who mentioned abortion and taxes.  Iraq was rarely mentioned as a deciding issue.

It appears that Walter Mondale was still the best chance the Democrats had for holding on to the seat.  When asked how they would vote in a hypothetical match up between Norm Coleman and Attorney General Mike Hatch, voters preferred Coleman by a substantial margin (55 percent to 31 percent).

As part of our You Decide 2002 coverage, FOX News conducted Election Day polls in 10 states with key U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races.

The polls were conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota and Texas.

In each state, a random sample of approximately 900 voters and likely voters were contacted via telephone on Election Eve (Monday, Nov. 4) and throughout the day and early evening on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 5). The margin of error for each state poll is ± 3 percentage point

Gender

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
(Female) 54% 52% 43% 0% 3%
(Male) 46% 40% 53% 1% 2%

Which ONE of the following issues mattered most in deciding your vote for Senator?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Abortion 14% 17% 81%   1%
Social security 8% 58% 36% 2% 1%
Taxes 13% 19% 76%    
Iraq 5% 56% 36%   2%
Health care 8% 60% 30%   3%
Education 18% 67% 26% 1% 1%
The economy 26% 54% 38% 1% 5%
The war on terrorism 7% 37% 57%   2%

Which one of the following factors mattered most in deciding your vote for Senator?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Positions on national issues 21% 50% 44% 1% 1%
Positions on local or state issues 23% 39% 52%   5%
Political party, or 12% 43% 51% 1%  
Personal character and experience? 43% 50% 46% 1% 1%

As you may know, the outcome of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota could determine which party, Democrats or Republicans?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Very important, 50% 54% 41% 0% 1%
Somewhat important, 23% 43% 53% 1% 1%
Not too important, or 8% 36% 48%   10%
Not important at all? 19% 33% 58% 2% 4%

Do you think Norm Coleman's positions on the issues are too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Too liberal 10% 76% 17% 2% 3%
Too conservative, or 29% 87% 9%   0%
About right 61% 12% 82% 1% 3%

Do you think Walter Mondale's positions on the issues are too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Too liberal 40% 5% 89% 0% 3%
Too conservative, or 5% 30% 59% 7% 4%
About right 55% 84% 12%   1%

As you may know, Walter Mondale was placed on the ballot following the death of Paul Wellstone. Before this happened, who were you planning on voting for?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Paul Wellstone 47% 90% 6%   1%
Norm Coleman 41% 1% 94% 0% 3%
Another candidate 2% 21% 49% 18% 11%
Undecided 10% 41% 45%   4%

Did you approve or disapprove of the job Paul Wellstone was doing as senator?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Approve 68% 70% 23% 0% 2%
Disapprove 32% 2% 91% 1% 2%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of Walter Mondale?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Favorable 68% 72% 22% 0% 2%
Unfavorable 32% 5% 91% 2% 2%

Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Approve 69% 24% 69% 0% 3%
Disapprove 31% 90% 5% 1% 1%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of Norm Coleman?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Favorable 68% 22% 72% 0% 3%
Unfavorable 32% 92% 2% 1% 1%

In 2004, do you think you will vote to re-elect President Bush, vote against re-electing him or will you wait and see who's running against him?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Vote to re-elect 28% 6% 92%   2%
Vote against re-elect 25% 90% 6% 1% 2%
Wait and see 47% 48% 43% 1% 3%

Did the news of the death of Paul Wellstone make you more likely to vote, less likely to vote, or did it have no impact?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
More likely to vote 9% 69% 25%   2%
Less likely to vote 0% 38% 32%    
No impact 91% 44% 50% 1% 2%

Which do you think should be the higher priority for the nation right now . . .

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
The economy and jobs, or 37% 65% 27% 1% 3%
Terrorism and national security 29% 25% 70%   2%
(Combination/Depends) 34% 44% 50% 0% 1%

If Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch had been chosen to replace Paul Wellstone instead of Walter Mondale, who would you have voted for?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Norm Coleman 55% 9% 88%   2%
Mike Hatch 31% 92% 3%   1%
Another candidate 14% 65% 20% 4% 7%

On a scale of excellent, good, only fair or poor, how would you rate the condition of the nation's economy?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Excellent 1% 29% 57%    
Good 21% 22% 71% 1% 3%
Only fair 51% 45% 49% 0% 2%
Poor 27% 70% 24% 1% 2%

How concerned are you that Walter Mondale may be too old to serve effectively as Senator?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Very concerned 13% 6% 85%   2%
Somewhat concerned 20% 18% 78% 1% 1%
Not very concerned 13% 55% 41%   1%
Not at all concerned 54% 65% 28% 1% 3%

Has either party acted inappropriately since Paul Wellstone's Death?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Yes, the Republicans did 5% 86% 11%    
Yes, the Democrats did 35% 13% 83% 0% 1%
Yes, both did 15% 68% 26% 2% 2%
Neither did 46% 59% 33% 0% 3%

Do you support or oppose U.S military action to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Support 63% 26% 68% 0% 3%
Oppose 37% 78% 16% 1% 2%

In the 2000 election for president, did you vote for . . .

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Democrat Al Gore 44% 89% 7%   2%
Republican George W. Bush 52% 13% 83% 0% 2%
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, or 3% 44% 22% 14% 5%
Someone else 1% 30% 30%   40%

Which one of the following factors mattered most in deciding your vote for Governor:

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Positions on the issues 50% 47% 47% 0% 2%
Political party, or 21% 48% 46% 1% 3%
Personal character and experience 29% 44% 49% 1% 3%

Regardless of how you will/did vote, when you think about politics, do you think of yourself as a Democrat or a Republican?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Democrat 39% 90% 7% 0% 1%
Republican 34% 4% 93%   1%
(Independent) 24% 38% 48% 1% 5%
(other) 3% 44% 36% 8% 8%

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Jesse Ventura is doing as Governor?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Approve 40% 43% 47% 1% 5%
Disapprove 60% 51% 46% 0% 1%

On most political matters, do you consider yourself . . .

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Liberal 35% 79% 15% 0% 3%
Conservative or 47% 21% 74%   2%
(Moderate) 18% 51% 41% 1% 2%

If Jesse Ventura were running for reelection against the current candidates for Governor, would you vote for him, or not?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Yes 19% 42% 45% 1% 5%
No 81% 47% 49% 1% 2%

If elected, how similar do you think Tim Penny's stances on the issues would be to those of Jesse Ventura?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Very similar 8% 46% 49%   2%
Somewhat similar 46% 46% 46% 1% 3%
Not very similar 26% 46% 49% 1% 2%
Not at all similar 20% 47% 50%   2%

What was the last grade you completed in school?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Less than high school (1-11) 4% 71% 18%   4%
Graduated high school 25% 46% 44% 1% 4%
Some college/Tech.Voc. 25% 50% 48%   0%
Graduated college 35% 41% 54% 1% 3%
Graduate/professional school 12% 49% 43%   2%

In the 1998 election for governor, did you vote for:

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Democrat Hubert Humphrey III, 32% 90% 8%   1%
Republican Norm Coleman, 34% 9% 88%   1%
Independent Jesse Ventura, or 31% 42% 44% 2% 6%
Someone else? 3% 63% 34%   4%
Area          
Minneapolis and St. Paul Area 33% 51% 43% 0% 3%
Twin Cities and Metro Area 24% 40% 54% 1% 2%
Republican rest of state 19% 43% 53% 1% 1%
Democrat rest of state 24% 50% 42%   4%

In which of the following categories is your age?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
18-30 13% 38% 49% 2% 5%
31-45 32% 43% 52% 0% 2%
46-64 31% 51% 43% 0% 2%
65 and over 24% 50% 45%   1%

How long have you lived in Minnesota?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
less than 5 years 6% 45% 47% 2%  
6 to 10 years 5% 42% 53%   4%
11 to 20 years 8% 36% 61%    
more than 20 or all life 81% 48% 46% 1% 3%

What is your religion?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Catholic 28% 47% 48%   1%
Protestant 35% 41% 54% 0% 2%
Jewish 1% 100%      
Muslim 0% 55% 45%    
(Other Christian) 17% 36% 54% 1% 2%
None/Agnostic./Atheist 7% 71% 20% 4% 2%
(Other) 13% 57% 38%   3%

Which of the following do you think is more responsible for Minnesota's state budget problems:

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
National policies, 16% 62% 29% 1% 4%
State policies, or 47% 44% 50%   2%
The business cycle? 37% 41% 54% 1% 2%

Which of the following best describes your race or ethnicity?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
White, Caucasian 97% 45% 49% 0% 2%
African American, Black 1% 100%      
Latino, Hispanic 1% 100%      
Asian 0% 75% 25%    
Or something else? 2% 91% 9%    

Would you please tell me in which of the following categories I read is your total household income

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
$0-7,999 1% 41% 59%    
$8-11,999 3% 66% 28%    
$12-14,999 3% 68% 27%   4%
$15-19,999 2% 64% 28%   8%
$20-24,999 6% 49% 44%   5%
$25-34,999 12% 52% 37% 3% 3%
$35-49,999 18% 50% 45%   2%
$50,000 -74,999 21% 46% 48%   2%
$75,000-99,999 14% 37% 57% 1% 4%
$100,000 and above 18% 37% 61% 1%  

Does anyone in your household own a gun?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Yes, I own a gun 25% 36% 57% 1% 2%
Yes, someone else in household owns a gun 17% 48% 47% 1% 3%
Yes, I own a gun AND someone in household owns a gun 6% 42% 52%   2%
No, no one owns a gun 52% 52% 42% 1% 3%

Does anyone in your household belong to a labor union?

TOTAL Dem.
Mondale
Rep.
Coleman
Green
Tricomo
Ind.
Moore
Yes, I belong 10% 62% 33% 1% 1%
Yes, someone else in household belongs 8% 46% 51%   1%
Yes, I belong and someone else belongs 2% 58% 42%    
No, no one belongs 79% 44% 49% 1% 3%