Seniors to impact DFL primary vote

Aug. 10’s Democratic-Farmer-Laborite governor primary election is tough to handicap.

Polls ranking the three major DFL candidates often have put Mark Dayton ahead, but there are so many unknowns this year.

Candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Matt Entenza and Dayton each say they are targeting likely voters; the problem is knowing who is likely to vote.

Most political observers say the only sure thing is that senior citizens will dominate the election. They always are most likely to vote, but this year it could be even more so. The primary election was moved up a month, which some say could eliminate some younger people with busy summer schedules.

If those older than 65 dominate the polls, conventional wisdom is that Dayton does well, but Kelliher and Entenza dispute that idea.

A Rasmussen poll conducted for Fox 9 in the Twin Cities shows that 51 percent of senior citizens have a very or somewhat favorable impression of Dayton, several points better than any other candidate. One of Dayton’s television commercials is all about seniors, reminding them that when he was senator he offered bus rides to Canada so seniors could buy less expensive medicine.

The candidates have made a point of visiting senior centers and produced television commercials featuring many senior faces.

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