Minnesota's 6th Congressional District is not exactly a bellwether for the state. Last year Barack Obama lost by eight points there while winning ten points statewide. But we took a look toward the 2010 Governor's race there, as well as Tim Pawlenty's standing and it probably does tell us something looking toward next year.
-Norm Coleman is damaged goods. Even in Minnesota's most Republican district, more voters (42%) have an unfavorable than favorable (41%) opinion of him. His statewide numbers are likely to be much more brutal than that. Keep in mind Coleman still leads Mark Dayton and RT Rybak by 13-14 points in the district in hypothetical contests but that's probably got more to do with its GOP leaning nature and Coleman's superior name recognition than anything else. Coleman will have to do some serious rehabilitation of his image if he decides to jump in the race.
-Minnesotans don't want Tim Pawlenty to run for President in 2012. Even though Pawlenty has a solid 52/39 approval spread in MN-6, only 32% of its voters would like to see him make a bid for the White House to 50% who are opposed. This backs up a Star Tribune poll finding from September that found just 30% of Minnesotans statewide keen on a Pawlenty run.
-RT Rybak is more popular than Mark Dayton. That was one of our findings when we looked at the Governor's race back in July and it's confirmed again on this poll. Rybak's favorability at 29/34 is a net 14 points better than Dayton's at 25/44 (and remember again that this is the most Republican district in the state, Rybak's numbers aren't in negative territory statewide- Dayton's might be.) Rybak is also more popular within his party at 57% favorability to Dayton's 48%.
The biggest takeaway is that there is no overwhelmingly popular clear front runner for Governor. And we probably already knew that.
Full results here