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Minnesota Senate Information Office

Minnesota Senate at the State Fair

Come see us at the Fair! Take our opinion poll, ask questions about the legislative process, give us ideas of laws you want changed or better yet: talk to a State Senator about your ideas! Who will be at our booth? Check the schedule below. Check back after the fair to see the results of the poll displayed here.

Event Information:

2018 Minnesota State Fair Opinion Poll

Minnesota State Senate Survey Results

September 4, 2018

All Senators, staff and interested citizens:

We would like to thank everyone who stopped by the Senate's booth this year at the Minnesota State Fair. Many visitors had a chance to talk with one of the 37 Senators that made appearances at the booth. Thirty-four Senate staff members also spent time at the booth answering questions from fair-goers.

More than 5,100 people took our annual State Fair opinion poll survey. The non-scientific poll, which was offered exclusively at our booth in the Education Building, aimed to familiarize fair-goers with a sampling of issues that are currently being discussed at the Capitol. See below for the results of all 11 of the poll questions.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.


Senate Information Office



Minneapolis/St. Paul 37.70% (1933)
Rural 11.91% (611)
Suburban 44.46% (2280)
Regional hub of at least 40,000 people (Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Mankato, Moorhead) 3.88% (199)
Another state 1.62% (83)
No answer 0.42% (22)
18-24 7.02% (361)
25-34 12.82% (659)
35-49 15.66% (805)
50-64 31.85% (1637)
65 and older 31.32% (1610)
No Answer 1.32% (68)


1. Should Minnesota law prohibit motorists from talking on cell phones while driving unless they use hands-free technology?
A) Yes 57.58% (2937)
B) Yes, except when a driver needs to make a call to obtain emergency assistance 25.25% (1288)
C) No 13.47% (687)
D) Undecided/No opinion 3.70% (189)
2. Legislation introduced in 2018 would require secondary school students begin class no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and elementary school students be picked up on the school bus no earlier than 7:00 a.m. Research suggests that students, especially high school students, require more sleep to perform well academically. Some school districts establish start times, including early start times, in order to use fewer buses to transport students in two or more rounds. Should the Legislature establish limits on early school start times and bus pickup times?
A) Yes 31.24% (1593)
B) Yes, but only with additional state aid or local property tax authority to pay for additional buses, if necessary 16.43% (838)
C) No, this decision should be left to local school boards 43.96% (2242)
D) Undecided/No opinion 8.37% (427)
3. Which of the following methods is the best way to provide additional state-level funding for roads and bridges?
A) Increase the gas tax 39.93% (1966)
B) Increase the sales tax paid on the purchase of a new or used vehicle 5.38% (265)
C) Increase the fee paid on license tabs 5.06% (249)
D) Constitutionally require the existing sales tax on auto parts to be used for roads and bridges 17.88% (880)
E) Increase the total amount of trunk highway bonds issued each year to pay for projects 6.34% (312)
F) Impose a tax based on the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) 6.24% (307)
G) I don't think additional funding is necessary 9.20% (453)
H) Undecided/No opinion 9.97% (491)
4. Should the state primary election be moved up from the second Tuesday in August to the first Tuesday after the third Monday in June?
A) Yes 23.09% (1182)
B) No 39.15% (2004)
C) Undecided/No opinion 37.76% (1933)
5. Anglers have debated whether muskies are causing harm to walleye populations in Minnesota lakes. Should the Legislature prohibit muskies from being stocked in waters where they haven't previously been stocked?
A) Yes, prohibit stocking in any new lakes that do not already have a known muskie population 25.70% (1309)
B) No, allow the stocking of muskies in selected new lakes as determined by the DNR 19.43% (990)
C) Enact a temporary moratorium on muskie stocking in new lakes until a study is completed about the effects of muskie stocking on other game fish populations 24.01% (1223)
D) Undecided/No opinion 30.86 (1572)
6. The Legislature in 2018 proposed that the commissioner of education assign each public school district, school site and charter school a single summary rating based on academic achievement and progress, progress toward English language proficiency, graduation rates and consistent attendance rates. Which of the following most closely describes your position?
A) A single summary rating allows parents, students and other community members to effectively compare and evaluate schools 18.61% (946)
B) Schools cannot be accurately and effectively summarized in a single rating 69.11% (3512)
C) Undecided/No opinion 12.28% (624)
7. What should Minnesota do with the estimated revenue gain from conforming the state's tax code to federal tax code changes?
A) Reduce taxes for businesses and individuals 20.52% (1043)
B) Provide tax reductions that are targeted to families with incomes less than a certain amount 11.98% (609)
C) Direct the increased revenue toward state budget spending (such as education, healthcare, transportation, etc.) 47.71% (2425)
D) Deposit it in the state budget reserve account 14.28% (726)
E) Undecided/No opinion 5.50% (280)
8. Should the state impose a quantity limit on opiate prescriptions that health care practitioners can prescribe for acute pain?
A) No 32.83% (1674)
B) Yes, up to a fourteen-day limit 22.19% (1131)
C) Yes, up to a seven-day limit 19.11% (974)
D) Yes, up to a three-day limit 7.00% (357)
E) Undecided/No opinion 18.87% (962)
9. The U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down a Minnesota law that prohibited political apparel in polling places because it violated the freedom of speech protections granted by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, the court indicated that some kinds of political clothing and accessories can be prohibited in polling places. What should be Minnesota's policy toward wearing political apparel while voting?
A) There should be no restrictions on apparel in the polling place 35.19% (1797)
B) There should be a prohibition on apparel that refers to candidates, parties or ballot questions that appear on the ballot at that election 42.91% (2191)
C) There should be a prohibition on apparel that refers by name to a candidate that appears on the ballot at the election 13.85% (707)
D) Undecided/No opinion 8.05% (411)
10. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is preparing new groundwater protection rules that include proposed restrictions on the use of nitrogen fertilizer on farm fields. The current rulemaking process allows for the new rules to be adopted December 2018. Do you think the Legislature should make the final determination of whether these rules are implemented?
A) Yes 40.56% (2031)
B) No 40.18% (2012)
C) Undecided/No opinion 19.25% (964)
11. What is your preferred way to influence legislators regarding issues you care about?
A) Calling by phone to leave a message with the elected official's office 9.79% (483)
B) Sending an e-mail to the elected official's office 32.95% (1625)
C) Making an appointment to meet with the elected official in person 6.83% (337)
D) Voting in the election 33.62% (1658)
E) Attending a public meeting or event where legislation is being acted upon 3.06% (151)
F) Attending a town hall meeting where issues and concerns are being discussed 7.60% (375)
G) Writing a post on an elected official's social media account (such as Facebook and Twitter) 1.66% (82)
H) Undecided/No opinion 4.48% (221)


You can find the archives of past years here