Questions about the poll

Q: I've never been called by the Minnesota Poll. How can I participate?

A: The only thing you can do to increase your chances of being called by the Minnesota Poll is to be a registered voter. Telephone calls are made statewide and randomly. In this poll, we called 625 people.

Q: How can you attribute the results to "Minnesotans," when you talk to only a fraction of them?

A: The short answer is statistics. Polling firms employ proprietary, sophisticated models to ensure they reach a representative group of Minnesotans in terms of geography, gender, age and income.

Q: Why don't you call the same number of Democrats and Republicans?

A: Unlike in many other states, Minnesotans do not register by political party. As a result, party affiliation can be in flux, and that means there is no yardstick to establish the "correct" number of Democrats, Republicans and independents to call. In this poll, 35 percent of respondents said they are Democrats, 30 percent said they are Republicans and 35 percent said they are independents or identify with a different party. This breakdown is similar to prior polls. In a Minnesota Poll in January, for example, the split was 34 percent Democrats, 32 percent Republicans and 34 percent independents/other party.

Q: How many people do you call via their cellphone?

A: 40 percent, up from 30 percent in previous Minnesota Polls.

Q: When was this poll conducted?

A: 625 respondents were interviewed April 15-18.

Q: What does the margin of sampling error mean?

A: Because we cannot interview every Minnesotan, a poll must allow for the imprecision that may result from a random sample. A poll based on 625 interviews will vary by no more than 4.0 percentage points, plus or minus, from the overall population 95 times out of 100.

Q: Who conducts the Minnesota Poll?

A: The poll's topics and questions are determined by Star Tribune editors, in consultation with our polling firm, Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy, a nationally known independent polling firm.

Questions can be sent to Dennis J. McGrath at