Poll, stories show many just getting by


Data released today from the latest MPR News-Humphrey Institute poll finally let us put some numbers to the stories Minnesotans have been telling us for months.

It’s not pretty. More than half Minnesota’s households are stressed because of the economy. Most folks described their own finances as fair or poor.

Similar percentages said they aren’t going to restaurants like they once did and are shopping for cheaper foods to eat home.

From the MPR story:

The poll shows that within the past six months about a third of likely Minnesota voters have postponed a vacation or car purchase. Nearly one in five, or 19 percent, has pushed back retirement — and 16 percent have borrowed money just to cover living expenses.

We know. Minnesotans in MPR’s Public Insight Network have been telling us these kinds of stories for months. We’ve been sharing them and you’ve really helped us plumb the depths of the Great Recession.

Until now, though, we didn’t have a solid sense of proportion. Were the the stories we were hearing and telling outliers or examples of what the majority of Minnesotans were going through?

Now we know.

Your stories have put our reporting on point — from conversations about what we’re not buying. to the struggle to find work to the frustration of asking strangers for help for the first time and leveling with your kid’s college about your financial woes.


Right now we’re asking Minnesotans in our Network to tell how their October looks (add your voice here) and if they recession feels like it’s over.

We have about 50 responses so far and we’ll be highlighting many of them in posts next week.

A glancing look at what we have so far offers a little optimism, a sense that folks are at least out of crisis mode. It’s not scientific, but it offers some hope.


Help our economy reporting. Take your October economic pulse.

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