Rasmussen still shows virtual tie in MN governor race

posted at 3:35 pm on October 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Will the Republican wave reach as far politically to the one state that never voted for Ronald Reagan in his two presidential races?  The jury is still out, according to the latest Rasmussen poll, but that’s good news for Tom Emmer.  While local polling has put his opponent, Mark Dayton, out in front by a wide margin, Rasmussen shows the race in a virtual dead heat:

Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer are still in a virtual tie in Minnesota’s gubernatorial contest.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Dayton picking up 40% of the vote, while Emmer draws support from 38%. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner remains a distant third with 15%. One percent (1%) prefer a different candidate, and five percent (5%) are still undecided.

The difference between this poll and those from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Humphrey Institute comes down to sampling.  Eric Black noted the wide gaps for the DFL in the previous polls, seven and ten points respectively.  In this poll, Rasmussen has the GOP up by a point.  None of those seem likely for Minnesota and the enthusiasm gap present in the state and national electorates; I’d predict a D+1 or D+2, but we’ll see in 25 days.

Besides, this electorate is about as evenly divided as any we’ll see.  Barack Obama has a 50/49 approval rate in a state he won by a wide margin two years ago.  Tim Pawlenty has a 49/48 approval rating, too.  Thirty-eight percent think the economy is improving; 37% think it’s getting worse.  Fifty percent want ObamaCare repealed, while 47% oppose it, and it’s 41/35 for those with strong feelings either way.  Among independents, it’s 49/50 on repeal.

This race has a wild card, independent Tom Horner, a former Republican, who gets 15% of the vote.  However, at the moment, it looks like he takes slightly more from Dayton (12% of Democrats) than Emmer (9% of Republicans).  His biggest impact is among independents, where he comes in second at 31% to Dayton’s 34%, leaving Emmer trailing at 27%.  That will make it tougher, but the last three gubernatorial races here had major third-party candidates in the mix — and in 1998, Jesse Ventura won, to the state’s almost-immediate regret.

It’s too close to tell from any of the issues on which Rasmussen polls how late-deciding voters will break.  The most encouraging news may be the tilt to the GOP candidates in MN-07 (Lee Byberg) and MN-08 (Chip Cravaack) in two Democratic-held CDs.  If those break for Byberg and Cravaack, it may well be enough to make the difference in the gubernatorial race.

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I hope Emmer has a good re-count strategy in place.

moc23 on October 8, 2010 at 3:46 PM

So this a guaranteed lock for the Dem? I mean, you might have to recount the vote until it’s ‘right’, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for MN.

Asher on October 8, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I tried the Guess the Republican from the photos and was wrong. What threw me was the Republican looks like Clintons old press secretary, I think that is correct, so I never even really looked that close to the second photo.

WoosterOh on October 8, 2010 at 3:53 PM

The fact that it’s this close says alot about America.

abobo on October 8, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Ed really knows how to drive the traffic. ;-)

JK Ed, you know we appreciate the hometown angle sometimes.

Abby Adams on October 8, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I know a number of liberals who are supporting Horner. They all hate Emmer instinctively (he is an evil Republican after all), but they also greatly dislike Dayton. Even the ones who will still vote for Dayton state that he’s a horrible candidate and isn’t worthy of this position.

strictnein on October 8, 2010 at 4:31 PM

when MN is a battleground state the dems are in trouble.

unseen on October 8, 2010 at 4:36 PM

close, anywhere = fraud for the win.

warming up for 2012.

tigerlily on October 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM

evenly divided, eh?? Well, let them bear witness to a fully operational HotAir then!!

c’mon Minnesota, enough of the fruitcakes….time to get in the game.

ted c on October 8, 2010 at 4:45 PM

I know nothing of this race.

However, the gaydar went into the red when seeing the picture of the guy on the right on the front page.

Just saying.

BowHuntingTexas on October 8, 2010 at 4:58 PM

What was MN thinking in not Voting for RWR in his Two terms as president?.

hawkman on October 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM

You mean it’s not a contest between Chevy Chase and Ric Flair?

nico on October 8, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Too sad, but when elections are this close, it’s the voter fraud mob that puts the Democrat over the top.

That’s never happened in Minnesota before, has it?

locomotivebreath1901 on October 8, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Come on, Minnesotans! We are counting on you for a Victory for Republican Tom Emmer for Governor!

Learn more about Tom Emmer at his campaign website:


Please talk to all of your friends and neighbors to make sure the margin of Victory for Emmer is large enough to make any potential voter fraud irrelevant.

Only 25 days before Election Day! We all need to be working hard NOW to EARN our victories!

wren on October 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

As a Minnesotan we are doomed without the Veto pen in Republican hands. The teachers unions are running ads to pay teachers MORE backing Dayton. That ought to scare anyone what a Dempuppet-Dayton 4 years would be. If we go Blue in a Red state wave ALL expansion will avoid Minnesota to the new deals the new Republican Governors will be doing across the US.

Conan on October 8, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Conan on October 8, 2010 at 5:44 PM

The democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, is promising a raise for all Georgia teachers. How to pay for it, he’s not saying.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Not Sonny Perdue, Roy Barnes, sorry.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Minnesota, like every other state in the entire country, is looking down the barrel of a loaded cannon. This is a census year and that means that whoever gets elected to serve in the next state legislature and governor’s chair, gets to control the reapportionment process.
Do you have any idea how much long-lasting damage a determined partisan reapportionment map can do? That’s the nightmare that Minnesota, and every other state, faces this year. If we don’t win this year, we are seriously screwed for the next 10 years!

Lew on October 8, 2010 at 9:12 PM

MN has a problem with the so called Independence Party. For some odd reason they siphon votes from possible GOP votes even though the candidates are more like Democrats than anything else, except the candidates are slightly more sane than the actual Democrat candidate.

Dasher on October 8, 2010 at 9:32 PM

If Dayton wins MN is in serious trouble. We have a serious budget deficit and Dayton seems to think he can spend our way out of it.

jpmn on October 9, 2010 at 11:12 AM