As ground breaks, conservatives try to turn Vikings stadium into political pitfall for Dayton

Conservatives are trying to turn what should be one of the proudest days of the Mark Dayton administration into a political landmine.

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Dayton, of course, was one of the biggest backers of the new Vikings stadium as it worked its way through the legislative process last year. But as ground is broken on the stadium today, the Minnesota Jobs Coalition is distributing a release calling on Minnesotans to punish Dayton for pushing the stadium.

The release, entitled "Mark Dayton Fumbles on the Vikings Stadium Deal," breaks its criticism of Dayton's support for the stadium into three parts -- the e-pulltab debacle, controversy about expensive personal seat licenses, and the damage Dayton has done to the state's reputation as he's mocked by the national media for getting suckered by Zygi Wilf and company.

"As Mark Dayton dons a hard hat today to break ground for the new Vikings stadium, it's important to highlight Dayton's fumbles on the Vikings stadium," Ben Golnik, chairman of the Jobs Coalition, says in the release. "Next year, Minnesotans may give Dayton a four year penalty at the ballot box."

That remains to be seen, but polling conducted in September did indicate Dayton's approval rating took a bit of a hit since the spring of 2012 as the stadium deal kept winding up in the news for negative reasons.

That said, separate polling conducted in late October found that Dayton still had at least a 10-point lead over any of the leading Republicans who are vying to run against him next year. Of course, some of those Republicans -- Julie Rosen and Kurt Zellers, to name two -- either supported the stadium bill or at least were publicly conflicted about their stance.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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