Friday October 8, 2010
Pro-Life, Pro-Family Challenger in Dead Heat for Minnesota Governor Race
By Peter J. Smith
ST. PAUL, Minnesota, October 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Republican pro-life, pro-family candidate for governor has now pulled into a statistical dead heat with his two pro-abortion, pro-homosexual challengers, with less than a month left before the November general election.
GOP’s Tom Emmer has pulled within two percentage points of pro-abortion Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate Mark Dayton, according to Rasmussen Reports.
In a survey of 750 likely voters, the polling firm places Emmer at 38 percent, while Dayton leads with 40 percent of the vote. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner holds a distant third, with a substantial 15 percent of the vote.
Just five percent say they are undecided in the race. Rasmussen estimates a margin of error of +/- 4 percent, making the race a toss-up.
The influence of Horner, a former GOP member, in this race could be decisive. Although races usually tighten in favor of the dominant parties at the expense of third parties before election day, Rasmussen says that Minnesotans generally defy that trend and may do so in November.
Both Dayton and Horner share pro-abortion positions and support repealing the state laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Dayton is endorsed by Planned Parenthood. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) report that during his six year tenure as U.S. Senator, Dayton had a 94 percent pro-abortion legislative rating, including a vote for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) in 2004.
Horner says he supports abortion, but says that it should be “safe, legal and rare.” He says he wants to reduce abortion by encouraging more sex education and access to contraception.
Emmer has largely focused on economic issues in the governor’s race, but has stated clearly he takes a pro-life position and he has a strong pro-life record. The GOP candidate is also endorsed by the MCCL’s political action committee.
Emmer supports giving Minnesotans the chance to vote on a state constitutional amendment enshrining the definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
Over the summer, gay activists went into a frenzy after discovering that the chain-store company Target (known for supporting pro-homosexual causes), donated $150,000 to a pro-business group called MN Forward. The group was supporting Emmer’s candidacy over his proposed fiscal policies as governor, not his social conservative values.
However, the homosexual community indicated strongly that social and cultural values would not take a back seat in the governor’s race, and demanded Target rescind its donation.
The company refused to take back its donation, but apologized for any offense taken by its employees, adding it would review its policies for political donations in the future. (see story)
Minnesota Catholic bishops, who are hoping to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot soon to preempt court-legalized same-sex “marriage,” initiated an aggressive six-week campaign in September to urge their flocks to get informed and vote for candidates that will advance pro-marriage, pro-family policies. (see coverage) The education campaign – while not mentioning Emmer or any particular candidates – could help tip the balance in the GOP candidate’s favor.
Catholics make up the second largest religious demographic (28 percent) in Minnesota after Mainline Protestants (32 percent), according to a 2008 survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
Midwest Catholic Bishops Exhort Flocks to Fight for Marriage
Gay-Friendly Target Bucks Demand to Placate Gay Activists with $150,000 Donation