McCain ahead in Minnesota?

posted at 10:40 am on October 3, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe the decision to move some resources from Michigan to Minnesota makes more sense in light of the new Survey USA poll.  The poll of likely voters has John McCain slightly ahead of Barack Obama, 47%-46%, an improvement of three points since their last polling.  McCain also shows surprising strength in some demographics normally thought to be Obama’s base:

In an election for President of the United States in Minnesota today, 10/02/08, 33 days from the vote, John McCain and Barack Obama finish effectively even, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, WDIO-TV in Duluth, KAAL-TV in Rochester, and KSAX-TV in Alexandria. The nominal advantage today goes to McCain, who is atop Obama 1 percentage point, 47% to 46%, within the survey’s 3.7 percentage point margin of sampling error. But: Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll 20 days ago, Obama is down 3 points. How much of this is movement and how much of this is “noise” is unclear.

Minnesota behaves unlike other states in some respects. Among women, there is movement to McCain, at a time when McCain is losing ground among women elsewhere. Among voters younger than Obama, there movement to McCain, at a time when Obama is consolidating support among young voters elsewhere. Among voters older than McCain, there is movement to Obama, at a time when older voters elsewhere are sticking by McCain. In Western MN, which abuts the Dakotas, there is movement to McCain. In Northeastern MN, which overhangs Michigan, there is see-sawing back to Obama.

McCain actually leads among women by a single point, eliminating the gender gap that McCain has to fight nationwide.  He also polls within four points of Obama in the 18-29 age demographic, a stunning development in a state where college students are particularly active.  However, McCain is also trailing among older voters, especially 65 and older, where Obama has an outright majority — again in defiance of the national trends.

On party affiliation, McCain is winning as well.  He takes 11% of Democrats, as opposed to 7% of Republicans voting for Obama.  He beats Obama by five points among independents, 44%-39%.   Regionally, he does surprisingly well in the Twin Cities (trails by only four points) and the heavily union Iron Range (trails by three).  McCain could win this state, perhaps even more so after Sarah Palin’s performance in the debate.

Survey USA also polled on the Senate race, and the Republicans have more good news.  Al Franken has now dropped ten points behind Norm Coleman, who leads 43%-33%.  Dean Barkley, the major third-party candidate, has now gained 19% support for his bid against Coleman.  The protest vote appears to have split Coleman’s opposition as Franken loses more and more credibility as a candidate.  Coleman has lost little ground in this race, but Franken has seen more than ten points fall off of his support.


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All this shows is that Franken is really not funny and Minnesota is a Racist state.

cmptrnerd on October 3, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Is this bounce from the VP debate? Nice to see Coleman with a lead, but I always fear 3rd party candidates in Minnesota. Remember that 3rd party wrestler who was elected governor with 37% of the vote.

Tommy_G on October 3, 2008 at 10:45 AM

I think Minnesota likes the populism of McCain/Palin. I do think, however, that McCain should send Palin and her husband, as well as Mitt Romney to at least make an attempt in Michigan.

jencab on October 3, 2008 at 10:45 AM

I don’t see it happening.

lodge on October 3, 2008 at 10:46 AM

I’m waiting for Obama to claim its cause Minnesota is another racist, sister dating, gun toting, southern state. I mean he didn’t know the location of Kansas and didn’t know where he was during the Dem Convention, I would be suprised if he claims its because Minnesota are A) Southern Racist or B) a northern state that is close to Alaska.

Rbastid on October 3, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Too early to be VP debate that would be Sunday at the earliest.

Steveangell on October 3, 2008 at 10:47 AM

I don’t see this happening, at all, but it would be nice. Its about time we got some good poll numbers…

changer1701 on October 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Too bad every other poll in MN has Obama up. Outlier much?

Hey Ed, maybe you should disclose the other poll results in MN instead of cherry picking this one poll?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/mn/minnesota_mccain_vs_obama-550.html

cornfedbubba on October 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

The accent that Sarah Palin has(at least that the media is agonizing over), is close to the Minnesota accent.

So maybe that will help them take MN, that and her midwestern, western charm.

reshas1 on October 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Yah, fer sure, don’tcha know?

Tony737 on October 3, 2008 at 10:49 AM

As the old DFL fossils die off, Minnesota could become less of a blue state.

Some of this could be explained by Minnesota voters wishing they were in Wisconsin, instead.

Right_of_Attila on October 3, 2008 at 10:52 AM

cornfedbubba on October 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Troll much?

changer1701 on October 3, 2008 at 10:52 AM

When the snow flies in Minnesota, the photos of Sarah on a snow machine will be worth a couple of points.

How about a bowling matchup with Barack?

originalpechanga on October 3, 2008 at 10:54 AM

You are not going to believe this.


Sarah Palin speaks at a $1000/plate fundraising lunch at downtown Dallas on October 3. Let’s give her a rousing progressive “welcome” by marching in solidarity on the streets in front of the hotel. Event starts at 11am to “welcome” luncheon attendees.

Where is the source of this? Try Barack Obama’s website. So much for unity.

carbon_footprint on October 3, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Too bad every other poll in MN has Obama up. Outlier much?

Hey Ed, maybe you should disclose the other poll results in MN instead of cherry picking this one poll?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/mn/minnesota_mccain_vs_obama-550.html

cornfedbubba on October 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Frankly the one that has Obama up 11 points sounds more like an outlier like this one. The other two have Obama up 2 and 8 respectively. So Two polls have it within the Margin of Error, one has Obama up by 8, and another has Obama up 11.

Also I’ll point out that the One with McCain ahead is the most recent one. The CNN/Time poll that has Obama up 11 is close but you can’t honestly claim that Obama is up by 11 so it sounds like the outlier, not this one.

Kronos on October 3, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Where’s Tim Pawlenty? He should be driving this message home in Minnesota.

tdavisjr on October 3, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I’m not surprised. Yesterday, 538′s numbers were mentioned and I have been reading all this landslide talk. Going through their numbers I noticed that all their trends were anti-McCain. Obama would be up a tick in raw numbers so they would trend him higher. McCain would be up a tick, or even two ticks, and they would trend him downward to give a lean to Obama. This is not because of McCain having a tough week last week; it’s because they skew everything to the left.

This Minnesota news is good. It adds a new dimension to the math. Right now the key is going to be Nevada. If everything holds up as it should (polls be damned) and McCain wins Nevada — he is our next President. If he loses Nevada we are at a 269-269 tie and we will most likely see President Obama and Vice President Palin (if Lieberman votes with the GOP).

grdred944 on October 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Man, I’d donate a nice chunk of change to see McCain’s independent internal polling. You just have to wonder.

Neither campaign is behaving in a way that lets you know what their polls say.

I hate looking at the polls that the Media pay for and or conduct

OSUBuciz1 on October 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I hope they get this voter fraud thing under control in Ohio. We need to win there for sure.

mindhacker on October 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I have to say that I have seen maybe 1 republican candidate’s yard sign up in my neighborhood in the past. But there are a surprising number of “McCain” signs up in my neighborhood, now, and I live in one of the most liberal districts in the country – Keith Ellison’s district. I think there’s hope for MN.

foxforce91 on October 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Memo to Joe Biden: When in doubt ask Al Franken for advice.

Mcguyver on October 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Get Palin up there.

albill on October 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM

After the past 10 days of financial catastrophe & TARP anguish, I’m amazed McCain is even within shouting distance in any battleground state.

JudetheFossil on October 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Out here in the western exurbs, what the Twin City liberals refer to as “red conservative pockets surrounded by consistent deep blue” you will find nothing BUT MacPalin signs; I have yet to see a single Obacon sign.

Dimtwit carpet-baggers like Franken won’t get much traction outside of Kenwood or St. Paul, we don’t like his smarmy bullshit. Hopefully his crap will help drag down Obobo too.

Bishop on October 3, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Wha?

This cannot possibly be true.

Abby Adams on October 3, 2008 at 11:08 AM

carbon_footprint on October 3, 2008 at 10:54 AM

103 people have signed up to attend this event.

cntrlfrk on October 3, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Bishop on October 3, 2008 at 11:08 AM

I would LOVE to move to Washington County, but I would hate the commute. Also, my husband and I want to stay and fight for the city – as hopeless as it seems.

foxforce91 on October 3, 2008 at 11:13 AM

Sorry, I’m stick stuck on –

It’s so nice to finally meet ya! Can I call you Joooooeeee?

Jaibones on October 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM

This could be right. I live in the Twin Cities and you’d be shocked at how few outward signs of Obama support you see. I see more John Kerry stickers on cars than I see Obama stickers and I drive through South Minneapolis every day. As for Coleman, he’ll win going away. Franken could seriously finish 3rd in this one – his ads are getting increasingly desperate, as are his people. And Barkley is no threat – most people haven’t seen him debate yet; he’s got nothing to offer.

Mr. D on October 3, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Why wouldn’t AP headline an item like this with his ‘oy’? Just curious.

promachus on October 3, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Could it be that Al Franken has coattails?

The Monster on October 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM

After the debate last night, I am pretty sure more battleground states moved to Mccain’s column. Sarah rocks!

promachus on October 3, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Generic polling of my contacts in MN that say they are voting for Obama.

“I’m voting for Obama because of George Bush. I’m not really certain what Obama stands for, but running against Bush is enough.”

I’ve already talked 20% of these contacts out of support for Obama. It was rather easy. All I had to do was guide them to Obama’s website and show them his positions on policy. Once they knew his actual views, their confidence in him plummets.

You need a ground game to get this message out. It’s door to door battles. It’s debates at the grocery store. You need bodies to make the case. Obama’s ground game isn’t running a race to vote for Barack. They’re RUNNING AGAINST BUSH.

gabriel sutherland on October 3, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Who’d have thunk it? Maybe all those somali muslims in minnesota can’t vote after all?

SaintOlaf on October 3, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Carl Cameron just said that Sarah Palin doesn’t necessarily agree with John McCain regarding pulling out of Michigan!

I hope that means we will see her here! Maybe with Romney?

I still think there is hope here.

ConMom on October 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Your mood ring needs re-calibrating, Ed. Minnesota is a loony liberal basket case.

Fletch54 on October 3, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Why wouldn’t AP headline an item like this with his ‘oy’? Just curious.

promachus on October 3, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Or use the obligatory moniker

Fuquay Steve on October 3, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Where is the source of this? Try Barack Obama’s website. So much for unity.

carbon_footprint on October 3, 2008 at 10:54 AM

RNC needs an ad showing this kind of childish, creepy, and scary behavior. I’m still convinced that the middle 20% will look at Obama and his associations, his supporters, and his tactics and say, “These people are un-American. I’m not with them.”

BuckeyeSam on October 3, 2008 at 11:42 AM

I hope that means we will see her here! Maybe with Romney?

I still think there is hope here.

ConMom on October 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Tell them to take some of those posters depicting Obama arm-in-arm with Kwame Kilpatrick. And mention that lousy Dem governor who’s created a microcosm of an Obama state there.

BuckeyeSam on October 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Not buying this poll. Even if it’s closer than previous races keep in mind that in Minneapolis something like 78% voted for Kerry in 2004. Outstate voted Bush, but the Twin Cities and the Duluth area just have too much pull.

Hollowpoint on October 3, 2008 at 11:49 AM

If he loses Nevada we are at a 269-269 tie and we will most likely see President Obama and Vice President Palin (if Lieberman votes with the GOP).

grdred944 on October 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM

You know, I might be able to live with that. I’m more excited about Palin than McCain. It would be interesting to see what happens if we got an Obama/Palin administration. It would certainly be an experiment. The country is strong enough to survive it.

It’s not what I want, though. I’m still praying for and expecting a “red surge” in October.

connertown on October 3, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Tell them to take some of those posters depicting Obama arm-in-arm with Kwame Kilpatrick. And mention that lousy Dem governor who’s created a microcosm of an Obama state there.

BuckeyeSam on October 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Will do! My major talking point is the great job that Jenny has done running our state economy into the ground. Want some more of the same? Vote BO! Use your brains knuckleheads and think above and beyond the feel-good, celebrity driven, empty-suit BO/Biden campaign. Well, I don’t always say knucklehead :)

Also, we pay income taxes to the City of Detroit (hubby works downtown)…so don’t even get me started on the Kwame fiasco. But I will look for that pic and keep it handy for future reference.

ConMom on October 3, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Right_of_Attila on October 3, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Minnesotans don’t want to be Wisconsinners; we already live in heaven so why should we hope for hell? ;)

Doug on October 3, 2008 at 11:59 AM

All this shows is that Franken is really not funny and Minnesota is a Racist state.

cmptrnerd on October 3, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Oh, Stuart Smalley is very funny. You evil spirited conservatives just don’t get the cerebral humor.

hawkdriver on October 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM

If we win minnesota we win the election.

SaintOlaf on October 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM

ConMom on October 3, 2008 at 11:53 AM

I think Phil Gramm (Mr. Bogeyman) and someone else had a devastating article in The Wall Street Journal within the past three or four weeks that essentially said, “to picture a national economy under Obama, look at Michigan because it’s a hint of things to come.”

BuckeyeSam on October 3, 2008 at 12:09 PM

New Virginia poll out today.
McCain up

bossk92 on October 3, 2008 at 12:59 PM

All this shows is that Franken is really not funny and Minnesota is a Racist state.
cmptrnerd on October 3, 2008 at 10:42 AM
Moron!!!!!!

pukara61 on October 3, 2008 at 1:26 PM

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/retro-POLCALCULATOR.html

Don’t know if y’all have played around with the above, but my calculations have it resulting this way:

Obama-271
McCain-267

This is assuming McCain wins Ohio, but also assuming Obama won Minnesota. I found it somewhat difficult to get a good read on Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Minnesota would be the game changer in my scenario. I hope there is something to this…

anuts on October 3, 2008 at 4:28 PM

I think we had better spend our time figuring out if we can live thru 4 years of socialism. Blogging this little tidbit or that to make ourselves feel better is sweet but useless. Put a fork in it; this is ready to be served unless McCain screams facts about the dirty connections etc at the next debate. What do you think the odds are that Mr. Partisanship will do that?

AReadyRepub on October 4, 2008 at 12:49 AM

Ooops, looks like someone grabbed the wrong sampling.

I don’t believe in polls. I don’t take polls; if I did I wouldn’t tell the truth. Just sayin’.

UndertheBridge on October 4, 2008 at 1:33 AM