Two polls find Klobuchar still has a big lead

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  • September 13, 2012 - 5:30 PM

Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is riding high in the polls as she faces her first re-election campaign.

A Public Policy Polling poll released Thursday found she had a 19 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Kurt Bills. A SurveyUSA poll found she was up 21 percentage points.

Amy Klobuchar and Kurt Bills in a State Fair debate/by Brian Peterson

Amy Klobuchar and Kurt Bills in a State Fair debate/by Brian Peterson


The PPP poll said 55 percent of voters said they'd likely vote for her and 36 percent said they were leaning toward Bills. Her marks have actually decreased from voters -- two months ago she had a 26 percentage point lead over him. But the pollster said that Bills has become better known in the interim but she remains one of the best liked senators in the country.

"She doesn't have much to worry about this year," the pollster concluded.

Although Klobuchar is known as a worrier, she has largely laid low this campaign season concentrating on senate work rather than campaigning. That may change as Election Day approaches.

Bills, a first-term state representative with campaign coffers dwarfed by Klobuchar's, has struggled to make his name better known among Minnesotans. According to the PPP poll, 59 percent of Minnesotans said they were not sure whether to feel favorably or unfavorably about him.

 Last week, Bills released an internal poll that showed him trailing Klobuchar by 14 points. In that poll, 58 percent said they didn't know enough about Bills to make a judgment on him.

The polls also found that President Obama is doing well in head to head match-ups with Republican Mitt Romney in Minnesota. According to the SurveyUSA/KSTP poll he would win 50 percent of the vote to Romney's 40 percent. The PPP poll found him with a 51 percent to Romney's 44 percent.

"Romney trails among the rich and the poor, among the educated and the less educated. There is erosion in Romney's support among middle-income and upper-income voters, compared to 6 weeks ago," the SurveyUSA/KSTP pollster said.

Although Minnesota has been a battleground state in the past, both the Romney and Obama campaigns have not treated as such this year. Although the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were close in the state, 2008 was not and Minnesota has the longest unbroken streak of voting for Democratic candidates for president of any state in the nation.

The PPP poll included 824 likely voters who were surveyed between September 10th and 11th. it had a margin of sampling error of 3.4 percent. The SurveyUSA/KSTP poll included 551 likely voters and had a 4.2 percent margin of error. The voters were contacted between September 6th and September 9th. The Democratic National Convention ended on the 6th so Obama's high numbers could reflect a "convention bounce" in that poll.


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