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Ryan Johnson, Forum Communications Co., Published July 22 2010

DFL gains slight edge in Minnesota governor's race

A new poll released Wednesday shows three Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidates in Minnesota’s gubernatorial race gaining a slight lead over endorsed Republican candidate Tom Emmer.

The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of 500 likely Minnesota voters was conducted Monday and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The pollster conducted three hypothetical matchups between Emmer, Independence Party endorsed candidate Tom Horner and each of the top three DFL contenders who are vying for the party nomination in the Aug. 10 primary election.

State House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who picked up the DFL endorsement earlier this year, had the strongest advantage in the poll. She led Emmer 40 percent to 35 percent, a 5 percentage point lead that’s just beyond the poll’s margin of error.

Horner picked up 11 percent of respondents’ support in that matchup, while 14 percent said they were undecided.

DFL hopeful Mark Dayton also received 40 percent of respondents’ backing, while Emmer followed with 36 percent and Horner had a 10 percent showing. Once again, 14 percent of those polled were unsure who they would vote for.

Matt Entenza narrowly beat out Emmer in his matchup, 37 percent to 36 percent. Horner received 11 percent of respondents’ support in this poll, and 15 percent said they were undecided.

The latest numbers show the DFL candidates gaining 3 to 5 percentage points since a May 24 Rasmussen Reports poll, while Emmer’s numbers went down by 1 to 3 points.

The number of those polled who supported Horner or said they were undecided has changed only slightly since the May survey.

Horner will have to defeat four other Independence Party candidates in the primary to advance to the Nov. 2 general election. Emmer faces three challengers in the primary, and four DFL candidates will be on the August ballot.


Johnson is a writer for the Grand Forks Herald