Governor Mark Dayton delivers his final State of the State address tonight (7pm) at the Minnesota Capitol to a joint session of the House and Senate. Hamline University analyst David Schultz predicts Dayton will lay out his accomplishments in seven-plus years in office, but also set themes for the fall elections. Schultz says, “I think it’s unlikely that his speech [is] gonna change many minds of many Republicans, if any. Instead, I think it’s gonna be aimed probably more towards the public and towards perhaps, let’s say, Democrats and independents.”
Schultz predicts Dayton will bring up the gun debate and probably won’t change any minds, but might try to make it an issue in the 2018 elections: “that if you care about guns,…or gun control or school safety, you’ll vote for [a] Democrat.”
Dayton has been taking heat from Republicans on the state’s struggling vehicle registration system. Schultz expects the governor will re-iterate in tonight’s speech that he’s committed to fixing MN-LARS, but that resources are needed. Schultz says, “Whether he gets to the point of labeling the Republicans as being obstructionists on this issue, I’m not sure — but I think he would like to be able to maneuver them into a position where he could do that.”
Join Professor Schultz and political reporters Bill Werner and Scott Peterson for live coverage of tonight’s speech on Minnesota News Network.
More in Bill Werner’s preview interview with Schultz: