A new St. Cloud State University Survey, released Monday, gave DFLer Mark Dayton a significant lead in the governor's race and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty would lose Minnesota but barely to Democratic President Barack Obama.
The St. Cloud poll, which sampled 628 adult Minnesotans and had a margin of sampling error of 5 percentage points, is unusual because it asks questions over a longer period of time than most independent surveys. The survey was in the field for 11 days between Oct. 10 and Oct. 21, a span that can even out temporary blips but could also fail to capture late breaking opinion switches.
The poll found that 37 percent of respondents would support Dayton in the governor's race, 27 percent would support Republican Tom Emmer and 18 percent would support the Independence Party's Tom Horner. Dayton maintains his ten-point lead if the respondent only include likely voters -- among that subgroup, Dayton has 40 percent, Emmer 30 percent and Horner 19 percent. With all respondents included 15 percent said they don't know for whom they will vote; among likely voters that percentage drops to just five.
Of the poll's more than 600 respondents, 462 were included in the weighted sample that creates the pot of likely voters.
The poll found Emmer has weaker support among Republicans than Dayton has among Democrats and that 23 percent of Republicans support Horner. The poll also found that Dayton picks up more folks who identify themselves as Independence Party members than Emmer but Horner picks up most of those folks.
The poll also found that Pawlenty has picked up some support for his assumed presidential run in 2012 but Obama would still beat him.
"This year, as last, President Obama wins. However, President Obama’s support shrank by four percentage points from 49 to 45 percent whereas Governor Pawlenty’s support stayed the same at 40 percent. We included a ‘someone else’ category and this year we found responses nearly doubled compared to last year," the pollsters wrote in their report.
The St. Cloud pollsters release all sorts of all data about their polls, into which you can dig here.