Is the Vikings Stadium bill a political boon or bust? A new SurveyUSA poll brings political hand wringers mixed messages.
One the one hand, Governor Mark Dayton, who unapologetically led a bone-crushing stadium drive, still has a very respectable 56% approval rating. In other good news for supporters, 55% of Minnesotans are fine with expanding gambling, the primary state financing mechanism used in the bill. Most (57%) believe that the Vikings will leave without a new stadium. Bottom line: An impressive 70% say that if a lawmaker backed the bill, it would either make no difference in their voting (47%) or make them more likely to support that politician (23%).
So, backlash? What backlash?
But the news in the poll isn’t all skol-worthy. A slim majority of Minnesotans (52%) either want the Vikings to stay in the Metrodome in its current plain Jane state (16%) or renovate the Metrodome (36%). In addition, most citizens prefer racino (26% support) and a downtown casino (36% support) over the bill’s heavy reliance on electronic pulltabs (15% support). Overall, 58% say the Vikings Stadium should be funded entirely with public funding. Finally, a whopping two-thirds (67%) of Minnesotans say there should be “a public vote before any taxes are raised to pay for a Vikings Stadium,” something the Vikings bill does not allow.
So, political armageddon is nigh, correct?
The fact is, polling on the Vikings Stadium is a bit of a political Rorschach Test. Politicians can see what they want to see in today’s polling, because Minnesotans’ collective druthers are divided. As certain as state politicians and pundits’ claim to be about what they think voters want, voters themselves don’t seem to be at all certain.
Is a vote in favor of the Vikings Stadium a political “W” or “L?” Well, the most difficult day to be a Vikings Stadium supporter was probably last Wednesday. The most difficult day to be an opponent of the Stadium will be the Minneapolis-hosted Super Sunday in 2016 or 2017. To every thing, there is a season.