What a lovely poll that is.
Well, it’s lovely from my point of view, at least.
Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken survived recounts when they won their first elections to the governor’s office and U.S. Senate. According to our latest KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, they might have to sweat our close races again in 2014. Franken clings to a six-point lead over his closest Republican challenger Mike McFadden, 48 percent to 42 percent. The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.1 percent.
Governor Dayton also faces a potentially close re-election bid. He also leads his nearest competitor by just six points. The GOP-endorsed candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, trails Dayton 46% to 40%.
Hard to remember sometimes that Minnesota is perfectly capable of electing Republicans, given that it’s a fairly reliable Democratic vote in Presidential elections. But both Dayton and Franken won their elections by small margins in years where everything broke right for the Democrats: and it’s not like Minnesota is doing all that well during either’s term. Incumbents who are below 50 and only leading their likely opponents by mid-single digits are obviously not losing; but neither are they safe. Also, in case you were wondering: while moving from a RV to a LV screen had this particular poll only improved moderately for Franken/McFadden, it improved Dayton/Johnson by double digits.
Again: this does not mean that we’re going to win either the Minnesota’s gubernatorial or Senate race. It does suggest, though, that the same electoral conditions that are giving Democrats severe electoral headwinds right now are also present in Minnesota. It will be interesting to see what happens after the primaries are over…
Moe Lane (crosspost)