KSTP/SurveyUSA poll: Minnesotans weigh in on state trooper case, sports betting

SurveyUSA results on state trooper case

SurveyUSA results on state trooper case

Gov. Tim Walz said last week he’s still watching the case of a Minnesota state trooper charged with second-degree unintentional murder and other serious charges and hasn’t ruled out moving the case from the Hennepin County attorney to the state attorney general.

Defense attorneys raised concerns about whether Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty dismissed the opinion of use-of-force expert Jeffrey Noble, who said State Trooper Ryan Londregan would have been following his training and using reasonable force if he shot Ricky Cobb II “because he feared for his partner’s safety.” A spokesman for Moriarty’s office denied Noble came to a legal conclusion.

According to our KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 42% of respondents say the case should be moved to the attorney general while 20% said it should not be moved. Another 38% said they’re not sure.

“It’s pretty clear that, among those that have an opinion, more than 2 to 1 say they want the governor to intervene and take the case away from the Hennepin County attorney,” says Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier.

A decision from the governor is not expected until after the next hearing in the case in late April.

Another issue getting a lot of attention at the State Capitol is the legalization of sports betting, which remains very popular. In our latest survey, 54% support legalization, 24% oppose it, and 23% are not sure.

As for how mobile and in-person sports betting should be administered in Minnesota, 45% say it should be put in the hands of private companies, 17% say a combination of tribes and horse tracks and 7% say “tribes only.”

There is no proposal at the State Capitol to put it in the hands of private companies. The DFL majorities in the House and Senate say they want the state’s Native American tribes to be in charge with no involvement of the two horse tracks. Republicans want the horse tracks to be involved.

“The Democrats want to work this out and deliver sports betting, but they need to do it in a way that will be popular with the sports betting participants,” said Schier, noting that there is political pressure to pass such a popular measure in an election year.

This poll was conducted before the Minnesota Racing Commission approved a new form of parimutuel horse betting at the tracks called “historical horse racing” machines. Democrats in the Legislature authored bills to prohibit those machines.

SurveyUSA interviewed 825 adults from the state of Minnesota from April 3-7. Of the adults, 721 were identified as being registered to vote; of the registered voters, 608 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the November general election.

This research was conducted online, using nonprobability sample of online adult panelists chosen randomly by Lucid Holdings, LLC of New Orleans. The combined pool of survey respondents was weighted to U.S. Census CPS targets for gender, age, race and education.

View the full survey results below: