Democrat Mark Dayton polls ahead of Republican Tom Emmer but trails Republican Marty Seifert. Seifert polls ahead of Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher but is tied with Democrat R.T. Rybak. Confused? Well it appears that Minnesota voters asked to weigh in on the governor's race are as well.
Rasmussen Reports polled 500 likely voters on Minnesota's race for governor. It shows that the field is wide open.
Meanwhile, 42% of those polled favor President Obama's health care plan while 53% oppose it.
President Obama's approval rating is also split in Minnesota. 49% of those polled approve of the job he's doing. 49% disapprove.
You can find the full poll results here.
To say that Dayton trails Seifert is somewhat misleading. Rasmussen's own synopsis of the poll calls the difference "statistically insignificant".
As additional food for thought, 538's Nate Silver notes that (at least in its senatorial polling) Rasmussen has a "Republican-leaning house effect of about 5 and 1/2 points." Which doesn't necessarily make the data suspect, but that should be kept in mind.
Assuming the questions were as implied (ie. If the match-up was Emmer, Dayton, Horner, who would you vote for?"), then this is really just a Political Party response ... essentially Emmer and Seifert got the the percentage ... why didn't they ask : If you were voting for a Republican, would you support Emmer or Seifert.
Just curious, but how was Rasmussen’s polling at this stage of the 2008 Senate race ? Did it indicate that the Independence Party candidate would get 16% of the vote ?
OK, the Senate race would have had two relatively well-known candidates – the incumbent and a “comedian” that had been blasted by the MN-GOP, so there is a pretty good sense that those voters “knew” something about the candidates.
But with the Governor’s race, could Rasmussen explain how Emmer and Seifert both went from single digits to mid-30% … oh, and look further at the Favorables-versus-Unfavorables, Emmer has a solid 35% of voters that would select him over the DFL candidate or Tom Horner … sound good, until you look at the Fav-Unfav and see that 36% have no opinion … that says they have no idea who this guy is other than the caller was told that he was a Republican running for Governor ... hence my assessment that this is really just "Which Political Party will you vote for".
Once voters start paying attention and the negative ads start to run, those No Opinions will change quickly … and who is most likely to benefit … remember those 16% of people that did not want Coleman or Franken, watch for Tom Horner to get into the 30’s (especially if the MN-GOP picks Emmer.)
What the poll does say that has been consistent with other polls is that Dayton has High Unfavorables … something that if he wins the DFL primary, could further help Tom Horner.
The good news for the DFL is that RT Rybak has such strong Favorables.
The other good news for the DFL is that despite the anti-incumbent mood, they are still holding OK. The MN-GOP still seems to be impacted by Pawlenty keeping them down in the mid-30s.
It's way to early to tell.
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Now, did you see the last question on the survey - “Is it possible for anyone who really wants to work to find a job?”
-- 54% of the respondents said NO … what does that mean ? How about the only issue that should count is JOBS. What is your Representative in Congress doing to create jobs ? What has Governor Pawlenty done to create Jobs ? Which party is thinking of how to create JOBS and which party is thinking how to please the Taxpayers League?
I can see why voters are confused. There's just too many candidates at this time. By the time we get to the Primary it should straighten itself out a bit. I predict that the DFL Primary will be a race mostly between Dayton and Rybak. It will be a close one. They would both make an excellent governor.