If thousands of Minnesota State Fair goers had their way, Minnesota would:

  • Raise taxes and cut spending to deal with the deficit
  • Require photo identification from voters
  • Take partisanship out of redistricting
  • Charge more for electricity to lower pollution
  • Require background checks at gun shows
  • Lift the moratorium on nuclear power plan construction
  • Expand gambling to generate state cash
  • And leave the possibility of a new Vikings stadium off the agenda and use no public dollars to build the stadium

The portrait of Minnesota comes from two completely non-scientific legislative opinion surveys conducted at the Minnesota State Fair. The opinions, from about 15,000 Fair-goers, give both Republican and Democratic partisans some talking points.

A slim majority of Fair-goers want Minnesota to both cut spending and raise taxes to deal with the coming budget deficit. In the Minnesota Senate survey, 52 percent or about 3,000 people said the state should "increase state revenue" and "reduce state spending" in combination. In the Minnesota House survey, 50 percent, or about 5,000 people, wanted a the state to "increase revenue" and "decrease spending" in combination. Both Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner and DFL candidate Mark Dayton want to increase taxes to deal with the deficit but both have also said their budgets would include some cuts.

Republican Tom Emmer hasn't released a proposed budget solution but has made a strong anti-tax stance. He could also see some hope from the poll takers' responses. In the House survey, 32 percent said they only wanted the state to cut spending and in the Senate survey 34 percent said they cuts alone were the right answer.

Only about 14 percent in both surveys said taxes alone were the way to go.

Although the results aren't scientific it is still worth noting that both surveys asked about increasing "revenue" not "raising taxes." Questions asked about tax increases might have gotten different answers.

Dig into all the answers from the Senate survey here:

Fair Survey


Here's the House survey:




2010 Results