Minnesota voters want to oust Democratic attorney general Keith Ellison, according to a new poll, a sign that the blue state is souring on the "defund the police" movement.
Voters favor Ellison’s Republican challenger Jim Schultz by more than 3 points, a Trafalgar Group poll released last week found. Ellison, a former deputy Democratic National Committee chairman, has stoked anti-cop sentiment since taking office in 2019. If elected, Schultz would be Minnesota’s first Republican attorney general since 1967.
Schultz’s lead could signal voters’ frustration with Ellison’s soft-on-crime policies. Murders reached an all-time high in Minnesota last year, and violent crime is up more than 20 percent. Ellison has backed a plan to abolish Minneapolis’s police department and blamed cops for damage rioters caused after the killing of George Floyd.
The Minneapolis City Council voted to defund its police department by $8 million in December 2020.
When asked whether the poll’s results were a referendum on Ellison’s approach, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office told the Washington Free Beacon the question was "inappropriate" and should be directed to Ellison’s campaign. The campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The Trafalgar Group poll also found around 54 percent of likely voters in Minnesota disapprove of how Joe Biden is "handling his job as president."