In most political polls, voters are asked to answer questions with only a few potential answers: Do they approve of the work done by an incumbent governor, for example? Yes, no, without notice.
But a recent survey conducted by Change Research for MinnPost included something else: open ended questions. Respondents were asked what they considered to be the most important problem facing the state; the most important problem facing their town and village; and how COVID-19 impacted their decision to attend the Minnesota State Fair or not.
As might be expected, many of the responses were serious expressions of concern on well-known topics. Most voters, for example, said the biggest problem Minnesota or their city faced was COVID-19. Climate change was a big deal for Democrats, while opposition to Gov. Tim Walz and concerns about taxes were big for Republicans.
But other responses have addressed, uh, lesser known issues.
So here is the totally objective recap of MinnPost of the most unusual, unexpected and – as a good Minnesotan might say – interesting responses to open-ended survey questions:
A force more powerful than COVID-19: Tim McGraw
Responding to our question about attending the Minnesota State Fair this year, a young woman from Ramsey County said she plans to ignore it because of COVID-19 – until she can remember it. ‘she had concert tickets for country singer Tim McGraw. “The only reason I’m going to the fair this year and I won’t be there until right before the concert starts, and then I’m leaving right after,” she wrote.
Maybe it’s old news if you are a reader of The Winona Post, but it turns out that there are people who are very unhappy with the latest road feature of country bluffing: roundabouts. Effectivelyno suburban residents of Winona County identified the placement of roundabouts as the biggest problem in their community: “Dumb roundabouts they are putting up,” one woman said. “Stop MnDot’s plan to put 4 silly roundabouts on State Highway 43,” one man said.
Who’s in Blaine?
There seemed to be a fairly large disagreement over the merits of a certain northern suburb. Asked about the main problem in her community, one woman wrote simply: “BLAINE”. As if to respond to that insult, another person wrote in response to the same question: “Blaine is actually pretty awesome.”
A mystery of Itasca County
In Itasca County, one person said their main local problem was to solve a certain mystery: “Whose dog pooped in front of town hall”, although it is possible that this is less of a question. than a statement.
The really important stuff
Two different men from Ramsey County had the sport high on their list of concerns: “Can Saint Thomas succeed in Division I?” One wrote. (Spoiler: Maybe.) “Can the Gophers make it to the Rose Bowl?” Asked the other. (Hahaha.)
He looks funny
While many respondents limited their concerns to practicalities – buckthorn, “nosy neighbors” and Bloomington being “shitty,” one person – a young man from suburban Dakota County – strayed into the philosophy (we hopefully) by identifying its main statewide problem: “people who exist”.
Feels bigger than a local issue
On the less practical side of things, one interviewee – a young Democrat from the outskirts of Olmsted County – said her main local problem was the “lack of bidets in Porta jars.”
How can that be?
A middle-aged Republican woman living in rural Polk County worried about the quality of the air in her town – and the noise of the trains. But, perhaps more importantly, she also lamented the lack of essential services in her community: “It would be nice to be able to buy a can of soda in town, but we don’t even have a pop machine on one. population of 100 ”.
Please Lord let it be a typo
Finally, in what we hope not one prediction, one person wrote: “COVID29”.