Mark Dayton is consolidating Democrats behind his candidacy, picking up 11 points in the past month to hold a significant lead over Tom Emmer, a Tea Party darling. Dayton also goes on the air today with two new ads emphasizing his values commitment to helping the middle class and protecting them from tax hikes.
by Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
September 29, 2010
St. Paul, Minn. — A new Minnesota Public Radio News-Humphrey Institute poll shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton with a significant and growing lead over Republican Tom Emmer.
A month ago, the poll showed Dayton and Emmer deadlocked at 34 percent each. But the latest survey shows Dayton with an 11 percentage point lead over Emmer — 38 to 27 percent.
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, who had 13 percent a month ago, now has 16 percent according to the new poll.
So what’s changed?
“The big story in September is that the Democrats have woken up from their summer slumber,” said University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs, who oversaw the poll.
“When you go back to August, you find 57 percent of Democrats who are likely to vote saying that they had only a little or really no interest in voting come November,” Jacobs said. “Now we found a substantial 83 percent of Democrats saying they have a great deal or a fair amount of interest in this election.”
That 83 percent enthusiasm number for Democrats matches the Republicans’, meaning the GOP has lost the edge in election excitement it had enjoyed over Democrats.