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SCSU Poll: Dayton over Emmer, Horner gains

Jake Grovum//October 25, 2010

SCSU Poll: Dayton over Emmer, Horner gains

Jake Grovum//October 25, 2010

DFLer Mark Dayton continues to lead his Republican opponent Tom Emmer, and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner had his strongest showing in more than a month, according a new poll of the Minnesota gubernatorial race released today by St. Cloud State University.

Dayton garnered the support of 37 percent of all respondents and 40 percent of likely voters in the poll, while Emmer’s reached 27 percent of all respondents and 30 percent of likely voters. Horner, for his part, saw 18 percent of all respondents backing him, and 19 percent among likely voters. Among all respondents, 15 percent are unsure who they’re supporting, as are 5 percent of likely voters.

According to the poll, Dayton leads Emmer in most every demographic category: gender, region and income among them. Dayton trails Emmer in only one: likely voters in the 45-54 age group. The poll also found Dayton has the support of 80 percent of Democrats, while Emmer has the support of 70 percent. Nearly a quarter of self-identified Republicans are backing Horner.

Surveyors also asked each candidate’s supporters to explain why they were backing their candidate. For Dayton, those were his education proposal, ideology and position on taxes. For Emmer, it’s his budget plan, party and a tie for ideology and his tax proposal. In Horner’s case: dislike for the opposition, tax policy and a tie on his budget plan and ideology.

The SCSU poll is widely credited with being among the few outlets that in any way predicted Jesse Ventura’s late surge in 1998. Last week the former governor’s campaign manager from that cycle, Dean Barkley, said he was looking forward to the poll’s release, adding that he considers it best able to accurately measure third-parties. Indeed, Horner had been falling precipitously in most all recent polls after strong showings in September led many to believe the campaign had become a genuine three-way race.

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