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The Star Tribune and MPR News interviewed 800 Minnesota registered voters between Feb. 17 and Feb. 19. Findings from questions about Gov. Tim Walz, marijuana legalization, mining and other state issues are below. Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Scroll down the page for details about how the poll was conducted and the demographics of the 800 respondents.

Do you approve or disapprove of Tim Walz’s job performance as governor?

Approve Disapprove Not sure
56% 25% 19%
Approve Disapprove Not sure
TOTAL 56% 25% 19%
Hennepin/ Ramsey 65% 12% 23%
Rest of metro 53 29 18
Southern Minn. 47 37 16
Northern Minn. 55 29 16
Men 54 27 19
Women 58 23 19
DFL/ Democrat 78 3 19
Republican 31 51 18
Independent/ other 56 25 19
18-34 61 20 19
35-49 51 26 23
50-64 55 27 18
65+ 58 27 15
Under $50,000 55 27 18
$50,000 and over 58 24 18
No college degree 52 28 20
College graduate 59 23 18

If state spending is increased, which one of the following areas do you feel should have top priority?

Pre-K - 12
public education
Health care Trans- portation Social services Higher ed. Other/ not sure
32% 29% 14% 10% 8% 7%
Pre-K - 12
public
education
Health care Trans- portation Social services Higher ed. Other/ not sure
TOTAL 32% 29% 14% 10% 8% 7%
Hennepin/ Ramsey 33% 26% 11% 13% 9% 8%
Rest of metro 30 30 17 8 9 6
Southern Minn. 36 29 14 10 6 5
Northern Minn. 30 34 11 7 8 10
Men 31 28 16 9 8 8
Women 33 30 11 11 9 6
DFL/ Democrat 33 25 6 20 11 5
Republican 29 35 20 4 5 7
Independent/ other 33 29 15 4 9 10
Under 50 36 24 14 10 9 7
50 and over 29 34 13 10 7 7
Under $50,000 31 27 13 11 12 6
$50,000 and over 36 29 12 9 7 7
No college degree 30 31 13 10 10 6
College graduate 33 28 14 10 7 8

Do you think Minnesota should or should not legalize marijuana for recreational use?

Should Should not Not sure
51% 37% 12%
Should Should not Not sure
TOTAL 51% 37% 12%
Hennepin/ Ramsey 54% 35% 11%
Rest of metro 50 38 12
Southern Minn. 50 37 13
Northern Minn. 47 42 11
Men 54 35 11
Women 48 40 12
DFL/ Democrat 59 30 11
Republican 42 47 11
Independent/ other 50 37 13
18-34 75 19 6
35-49 63 29 8
50-64 39 46 15
65+ 37 50 13
Under $50,000 54 37 9
$50,000 and over 52 36 12
No college degree 47 41 12
College graduate 55 35 10

Do you think Minnesota should or should not follow the example of Colorado and legalize marijuana for recreational use?

Should Should not Not sure
30% 63% 7%
Should Should not Not sure
TOTAL 30% 63% 7%
Hennepin/ Ramsey 33% 51% 16%
Rest of metro 30 67 3
Rest of state 27 71 2
Men 33 61 6
Women 27 66 7
DFL/ Democrat 54 38 8
Republican 11 86 3
Independent 19 73 8
None 15 77 8
18-34 43 49 8
35-49 30 64 6
50-64 32 61 7
65+ 11 84 5
Under $50,000 37 57 6
$50,000 and over 31 63 6
Used pot 61 33 6
Haven't used pot 17 76 7

Generally speaking, do you support or oppose building new mines near the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota?

Support Oppose Undecided
22% 60% 18%
Support Oppose Undecided
TOTAL 22% 60% 18%
Hennepin/ Ramsey 17% 69% 14%
Rest of metro 24 56 20
Southern Minn. 25 54 21
Northern Minn. 26 57 17
Men 23 61 16
Women 21 59 20
DFL/ Democrat 11 80 9
Republican 39 37 24
Independent/ other 19 59 22
18-34 23 59 18
35-49 19 66 15
50-64 23 58 19
65+ 24 56 20
Under $50,000 24 59 17
$50,000 and over 22 62 16
No college degree 24 57 19
College graduate 21 62 17

When it comes to mining, which is a higher priority:

Protecting the environment Providing jobs Same/ not sure
66% 19% 15%
Approve Disapprove Same/ not sure
TOTAL 66% 19% 15%
Hennepin/ Ramsey 72% 14% 14%
Rest of metro 65 22 13
Southern Minn. 64 19 17
Northern Minn. 60 23 17
Men 68 19 13
Women 64 19 17
DFL/ Democrat 85 5 10
Republican 45 38 17
Independent/ other 65 17 18
18-34 68 19 13
35-49 71 14 15
50-64 63 22 15
65+ 64 21 15
Under $50,000 63 22 15
$50,000 and over 67 21 12
No college degree 66 20 14
College graduate 65 19 16

About the poll

The findings of this Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll are based on live interviews conducted Feb. 17 to Feb. 19 with 800 Minnesota registered voters. The poll was conducted for the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio News by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc.
The sample for this survey was drawn from a Mason-Dixon database that includes approximately 2.2 million registered Minnesota voters who are matched with a telephone number – either a land line, a cell phone or both. A random sample of 100,000 voters from unique households with unique phones was drawn from this database for use in calling on this poll.
Those interviewed were randomly selected by computer from this phone-matched Minnesota voter registration file with quotas assigned to reflect the state’s voter registration distribution by county. For example, Hennepin County and Ramsey County combined account for 32% of the state’s registered voters, so 32% of the survey interviews were completed there. The interviews were conducted via land line (42%) and cellphone (58%).
The margin of error for this sample of 800 registered voters, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ± 3.5 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed. The margin of error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or age grouping.
The self-identified party affiliation of the respondents is 37% Democrats, 32% Republicans and 31% independents or other.
Sampling error does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion surveys, such as nonresponse, question wording or context effects. In addition, news events may have affected opinions during the period the poll was taken.
The demographic profile of this poll of registered voters is an accurate reflection of their respective voter populations. This determination is based on more than 100 statewide polls conducted by Mason-Dixon in Minnesota over the past 32 years – a period that spans eight presidential election cycles that began in 1988.
Readers can e-mail questions to matt.delong@startribune.com.

Demographic breakdown of this polling sample

PARTY
DFL/ Democrat 298 (37%)
Republican 256 (32%)
Independent/ other 246 (31%)
AGE
18-34 139 (17%)
35-49 210 (26%)
50-64 240 (30%)
65+ 208 (26%)
Refused 3 (1%)
INCOME
< $25,000 84 (11%)
$25,000-$49,999 144 (18%)
$50,000-$74,999 135 (17%)
$75,000-$99,999 103 (13%)
$100,000+ 162 (20%)
Refused 172 (21%)
GENDER
Men 387 (48%)
Women 413 (52%)
REGION
Hennepin/ Ramsey 255 (32%)
Rest of metro 230 (29%)
Southern Minnesota 160 (20%)
Northern Minnesota 155 (19%)
EDUCATION
High school
or less
116 (15%)
Some college/
Vocational
258 (32%)
College graduate 249 (31%)
Graduate degree 145 (18%)
Refused 32 (4%)
INTERVIEW
Land-line 335 (42%)
Cell Phone 465 (58%)