Virtual tie in … Minnesota?

posted at 10:41 am on October 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’d be the first to tell people that my state is a quadrennial sucker bet for Republicans.  In 2008, no one thought we had a prayer, but in 2000 and 2004, Republicans actually thought they had a chance to break the Democrats’ presidential winning streak, as the state last went to the GOP in 1972.  I’ve been hearing Republicans get optimistic here again, but I’ve been highly skeptical of the prospects for Mitt Romney to even get close here.

Until now:

As the presidential race tightens across the country, a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found that it is narrowing here as well, with President Obama holding a 3-point lead and Republican Mitt Romney making gains in the state.

The poll shows Obama with support from 47 percent of likely voters and Romney earning backing from 44 percent — a lead within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Last month, Obama had an 8-percentage point advantage in the Minnesota Poll. Romney has apparently cut into the Democrat’s advantage among women since then and picked up support from Minnesotans who were previously undecided or said they would vote for a third-party candidate.

Independents, on the other hand, are leaning more toward Obama. Barely a third supported him last month, but that number has grown to 43 percent. Romney’s support among independents remains virtually unchanged, with 13 percent of that group remaining undecided.

Bear in mind that this is the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll, which has a long and (un)glorious history of leftward tilt.  Mitch Berg has long documented this trend.  One has to wonder whether we’ll need to send paramedics to his house this morning after he reads Rachel Stassen=Berger’s report from the survey.

Snark aside, this looks like a relatively solid poll.  The sample is D+5, with a D/R/I of 38/33/29.  In 2008 when Obama won by 10 points, it was D+4 at 40/36/22, and I suspect that Republicans are going to be more motivated this time around. Obama wins the core counties in the Twin Cities, but only by a relatively weak 57/35.  Romney wins the Metro suburbs with a majority 51/39 and edges Obama 46/44 in the rest of the state.

In 2008, Obama had a 19-point edge in the gender gap, +3 among men and +16 among women.  This time, Obama has only a +1 — he’s up 14 among women but down 13 among men.  Obama still leads by 6 among independents, which he won by 17 points in 2008, but he’s only got 43%.  Late breakers are not likely to flow to the incumbent at this stage of the election; if the were inclined to support Obama, they’d already be in his corner now.

That’s true of the overall number as well. If Obama can only get to 47% in the Star Tribune poll with nine days left to go before the election in Minnesota, which has gone Democrat every presidential election over the last four years, this state is in play — and that’s why both campaigns are suddenly starting to spend money here.

Breaking on Hot Air



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Gumby and Ras and ARG have Romney ahead. ES.

CW on October 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

In Minnesota?

gophergirl on October 28, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Bullshit it is tied! Romney is up… here are a few posts from my FaceBook:

I have been detailing these polls for some time… checking the sample rate veraciously. Here is one post (with a couple added) from my FB that started quite a discussion with my liberal nemesis:

The Ohio poll that has the 49% vs. the 49% close race, is a great example of what I have been talking about here-and-there about the disparity of proper representation of Party affiliates in these polls. For instance, in the poll used by many to show the tie, here is the breakdown:

★ The party breakdown of the randomly selected respondents: 47 percent Democrats, 44 percent Republicans, 10 percent

We know that Independents are tracking more with the Republicans this year, about 54 percent (R/R) to 40 percent (O/B). And of course the difference is obvious in Democrat/Republican, as shown above. If there were a more even sampling between all three… Romney would be up, and by a few percentage points!

Likewise, the Minnesota poll that shows a statistical dead-heat is broke down thusly:

★ The poll comes as more Minnesotans identify as Republicans, which could add to Romney’s support. A month ago, the poll’s sample was 41 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican and 31 percent independent or other. In this survey, 38 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrat, 33 percent Republican and 29 percent independent or other.


Okay, the Gravis Marketing Poll (Ohio) which has Obama up 1 in Ohio ~ 50 Obama, 49 Romney… Dems are sampled 8% more (also remember Independents are going for Romney in larger numbers). Here is how the poll breaks down:

✔ Democrat – 40
✔ Republican – 32
✔ Independent or in another party – 28


PPP’s newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 51-47, up from a 49-48 margin a week ago. How does this newest poll break down?

✔ Democrat – 43%
✔ Republican – 35%
✔ Independent/Other – 21%

papa_giorgio on October 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM

why do you assume the strib wouldn’t deliberately skew the results to lure Romney into spending money there? He probably should anyway, but everything from the MSM must be taken with a grain of salt.

Best he rely on his own internals

WryTrvllr on October 29, 2012 at 1:59 AM

why do you assume the strib wouldn’t deliberately skew the results to lure Romney into spending money there? He probably should anyway, but everything from the MSM must be taken with a grain of salt.

Best he rely on his own internals

WryTrvllr on October 29, 2012 at 1:59 AM

I think this is excellent advice.

I am a born and raised Minnesotan, and as much as I would like to believe the Red Star‘s poll showing Romney within the margin of error on Soetoro, I just can’t accept it as truth.

The social democratic ethos of Scandinavia and Germany runs very deep in Minnesota, and as a result there are way too many otherwise sensible people there who believe there is no problem in society that cannot, and should not, be solved with a government program funded by the taxpayers. (My ancestors hailed from Norway for the most part, but my family ditched the statist/collectivist part of the Scandinavian sense of social responsibility several generations ago.)

Until I see reliable polling data that shows otherwise, I see the Strib poll as a trap, designed to siphon GOP money away from places where it can actually make a difference in the Electoral College.

MidniteRambler on October 29, 2012 at 3:14 AM

Always surprising how much more competent the anti-war party is at waging war when it’s necessary.
urban elitist on October 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM

OMG if you had any idea how much the majority of the military hates obama.

Hubris = irony.

hawkdriver on October 29, 2012 at 8:49 AM

mark81150, Do not ever apologize to me for a spirited defense of the military. Your comments were awesome.

hawkdriver on October 29, 2012 at 8:53 AM

The problem in MN are three cities Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth all of which vote about 70 percent Democrat. The rest of the state had to be really strong Republican to overcome that.

Dasher on October 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM

The Duluth New Tribune endorses…..

Yes, you read that right – the Duluth News Tribune endorsed Mitt Romney.


Lady Logician on October 29, 2012 at 9:35 AM

And here is something that the Strib story didn’t tell you. They are no longer using the Humphrey Institute’s polling arm. They are actually using a reputable firm – Mason Dixon.

It’s still a long shot, but it is possible….


Lady Logician on October 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Best he rely on his own internals

WryTrvllr on October 29, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Good advice, but I’m sure he is already doing that.

Missy on October 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM