Tom Emmer has closed the polling gap with his Democrat opponent in Minnesota.
Ed Morrissey comments:
In the wake of the primary fight in Minnesota, former Senator Mark Dayton took a rather large lead against Republican Tom Emmer in the gubernatorial race. DFLers here crowed, claiming that the results showed that Emmer would gain no traction here after eight years of Tim Pawlenty, but perhaps the times aren’t a-changing here after all. A new Survey USA poll shows that the Dayton lead has all but dissipated, with Emmer moving into a virtual tie among likely voters:Sarah Palin endorsed Emmer April 29.In an election for Minnesota Governor today, 09/15/10, DFL candidate Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer finish effectively even, within the survey’s theoretical margin of sampling error, according to this latest exclusive KSTP-TV poll conducted by SurveyUSA.
Today, Dayton gets 38%, Emmer 36%; Dayton’s nominal 2-point advantage may or may not be statistically significant. But: Independence Party candidate Tom Horner today gets 18% of the vote, stronger yet among older, more reliable voters, complicating the calculus either major-party campaign needs to capture the open seat.
What happened? In the first place, the previous polling reflected the interest from a high-profile, competitive DFL primary race, in which Dayton barely edged Margaret Anderson Kelliher for the nomination. Emmer spent the summer fundraising and organizing rather than advertising, saving his money for the general election. Dayton outspent Emmer by 16:1 during the two months prior to those initial polls.
Since then, Emmer has released a detailed plan to solve the budget gap and remake government. He has run a solid campaign, putting out a positive message. The Republican Party has taken the lead on focusing attention on Dayton’s record as Senator, which prompted Time Magazine to call him the worst Senator in Congress in 2006.