Sep 20, 2022 - Axios Events

Axios x Twin Cities Office Hours

Office Hours x Twin Cities

On Thursday, September 15th, Axios Twin Cities reporters Nick Halter, Audrey Kennedy and Torey Van Oot engaged in conversation with a panel of Minnesota political insiders about the issues and trends shaping the state’s top races ahead of the midterms. Guests included republican strategist and former majority leader of the Minnesota State Senate Amy Koch and former state senate assistant DFL leader and lobbyist Jeff Hayden.

Nick Halter and Torey Van Oot speaking with Jeff Hayden and Amy Koch.
Nick Halter and Torey Van Oot speaking with Jeff Hayden and Amy Koch. Credit: Sarah Morreim
  • Amy Koch on waning Republican momentum in Minnesota: “The best that Republicans can hope for there is that I think that they don’t lose by actually 18 points, which I believe would be the largest in state history. And, you know, I think it’s a combination of factors, I think that the big Republican wave that we saw started to deteriorate on a couple of things. I think overturning Roe was a huge factor. When I was speaking to groups, I was always like, ‘that’s the one thing that’s going to throw this race into disarray and kind of going to stop the Republican momentum,’ and it has. The generic ballot is down to dead even now, when it’s dead even it’s still typically a good Republican year, but it’s not a blowout year...”
  • Amy Koch on issues driving voters: “I do think that the main issue in the ‘burbs is public safety, inflation, yes, but I think that crime and safety has been a number one issue…and so it’s to be expected that it’s going to play a big part, and particularly in the suburbs where they are watching very closely what is going on in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. And I just think on that issue, Republicans are coming out on the top.”
  • Jeff Hayden on crime and policing: “I think that in the same token, Amy said that in Minneapolis, they soundly rebuked this idea of defunding the police, right, so like no matter where you are, that’s actually what happened in this Democratic town. So what I hear in north Minneapolis, in particular, right, where a lot of the police accountability issues are, as well as the community-based crime, folks are saying, we want the police, we just don’t want them to come and beat us up, right. We want them to respect us and we want them to be kind of guardians and not this warrior mentality. So I think that there is kind of a shift in the idea that Democrats are soft on crime or don’t want to deal with this issue.”

Thank you Minnesota Credit Union for sponsoring this event.

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