REGIONAL— A wide-ranging Star Tribune/Minnesota Public Radio political survey has found that fewer than one-in-four Minnesotans supports new mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area …
REGIONAL— A wide-ranging Star Tribune/Minnesota Public Radio political survey has found that fewer than one-in-four Minnesotans supports new mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
By contrast, six-in-ten Minnesotans told pollsters that they opposed proposed mines near the state’s premier canoe country and two-thirds said that when it comes to mining they believe protecting the environment should be a higher priority than creating jobs. Only 19 percent of those polled thought that creating jobs should be the higher priority.
Opposition to mining near the BWCAW was consistent across the state and across most demographic groups. The survey found that, by a 57-26 margin, even residents of northern Minnesota opposed the prospect of mining near the wilderness.
Only self-identified Republicans expressed support for mining near the wilderness, albeit by a narrow 39-37 percent margin. DFLers opposed mining near the BWCAW by an 80-11 percent margin, while independents opposed it 59-19 percent.
The latest survey results were similar to polling done in 2016 by the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, which has spearheaded opposition to the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely. That poll had queried residents on their support or opposition to sulfide-based mining near the BWCAW and found similar levels of opposition to the idea at that time.
The latest poll asked Minnesotans about a wide range of other issues. Based on the results, Minnesotans:
• Support Gov. Tim Walz’s job performance by a 56-25 percent margin.
• Support the legalization of marijuana by a 51-37 percent margin.
• Give President Trump relatively low marks, with 44 percent approving of his job performance versus 52 percent who say they disapprove.
• Give Sen. Amy Klobuchar a slight edge over front-running Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the state’s presidential primary, set for Tuesday, March 3. The poll found that Klobuchar, now in her third term as Minnesota’s U.S. Senator, had the backing of 29 percent of those surveyed compared to 23 percent for Sanders. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had the backing of 11 percent while former Vice President Joe Biden had support from eight percent.