Democrat Keith Ellison is behind Republican Doug Wardlow in the race for Minnesota attorney general, apparently affected by mounting domestic abuse allegations. A new poll, conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune/MPR News, shows that Ellison is trailing Wardlow by 7 percentage points. Ellison got 36 percent of voters’ support, as opposed to 43 percent for Wardlow. Democrats’ support is apparently undecided, even while Republican voters feel strong about Wardlow. 

The survey that was released today represents a startling change of fortune for Wardlow. Last month, Wardlow was behind Ellison by five points. Ellison is one of the star players in the Democrat firmament: he is the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. A progressive, Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress. 

Ellison’s troubles began when his former female companion, Karen Monahan, went public with her story about alleged physical and emotional abuse suffered at his hands. Monahan recounted that Ellison allegedly dragged her out of bed and shouted “F--- you, b---“ and “I hate you.” She has released a 2017 medical document identifying Ellison as the cause of her “emotional and physical abuse.” Ellison has also had to vigorously disassociate himself from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, with whom he had a political alliance decades ago.   

Having denied all of Monahan’s accusations, Ellison allowed the Democratic party to review them. Attorney Susan Ellingstad, who is affiliated with the party, prepared a draft report that exonerated ellison. Ellingstad stated:  “An allegation standing alone is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that conduct occurred, particularly where the accusing party declines to produce supporting evidence that she herself asserts exists.” Ellingstad is a partner in a law firm that donated approximately $500,000 to Democrats.

Monahan is scheduled to appear on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday.

While he recently told the New York Times that he will reveal the truth, he claims that he does not want to attack Monahan. He told Ellingstad that Monahan trumped up the charges out of jealousy. Referring to the feminist movement that opposes sexual misconduct by men, Ellison said, “The #MeToo movement is a justice movement, and I don’t ever want to be counted among those who in some way tried to dissuade victims from coming forward.” He added, “But I think the #MeToo movement has room for due process. Every social justice movement must.”

Ellison, according to the poll is popular only in cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He trails Wardlow in the suburbs and in the rest of the state. He also trails Wardlow among male voters and is tied with Wardlow among women. It is up to undecided voters to make or break the race for Ellison: they are 16 percent in the current poll, having come down from 18 percent last month.
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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