Minnesota GOP Caucus Straw Poll Sets Up Anti-Vax COVID Denier Scott Jensen as GOP Frontrunner for Governor
Anti-science COVID denier Scott Jensen is the current frontrunner in the Minnesota GOP gubernatorial primary, the latest straw poll confirms. In the poll, conducted from participants at the Minnesota Republican Party’s biennial caucus, Jensen had a decisive lead over the rest of the field. The caucus results put Jensen in a strong position to win the party’s endorsement in May, which all leading GOP candidates have pledged to abide by.
Jensen’s lead over the field cements the GOP primary as a sprint to the right with far-right positions resonating most with Republicans. The caucus results also serve as a major embarrassment for other GOP candidates like state Sens. Paul Gazelka and Michelle Benson. Gazelka finished in second place, 24 points behind Jensen, while Michelle Benson finished dead last, with only 7% support.
Over the last year, Jensen’s anti-vaccine conspiracy theories have prolonged the pandemic and put Minnesotan’s health at risk. Jensen was featured in the viral conspiracy-theory video “Plandemic” and included as a source in PolitiFact’s 2020 “Lie of the Year.” He’s also partnered with anti-vax activists to advocate for disproven treatments for COVID, and his claims have been cited by leading conspiracy theorists, including from InfoWars and Donald Trump.
With Jensen leading the field, the other candidates will have to double down on their own extreme agendas if they want a shot at overtaking Jensen’s lead. Already, the entire field has proven they’re more concerned with conspiracy theories than the actual issues affecting Minnesotans. At a GOP gubernatorial debate, all five Republican candidates present refused to say Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.
“After failing miserably to recruit a viable candidate, the Minnesota GOP is setting themselves up to elect a nominee who is dangerously out of touch with Minnesotans,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “After spending months in a far-right primary campaigning on lies and conspiracies rather than solutions to the actual problems facing the state, the eventual GOP nominee won’t be able to hold a candle to Gov. Walz, whose willingness to work together and bridge divides has delivered actual results for Minnesotans.”