Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Observations from MN-6

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


Minnesota Central said...

Coleman’s numbers should not be surprising considering that 63,203 McCain voters did not vote his re-election … the last straw for hardcore conservative MN-GOPers was his vote for TARP (after not supporting drilling in ANWR, and his stance on immigration, climate, fuel standards and SCHIP legislation.) At the MN-GOP state convention, his speech was marked by silence. Your poll data where only 61% of Conservatives gave him a favorable rating, tells him where his problem is. That said, since the independent voters are the ones that have decided the contest, one would think that Coleman would still be viable … but he only got 33% favorable rating from Moderates (with 50% having an unfavorable opinion.) He could recover … but running under the MN-GOP banner may be difficult … actually, the former Democrat turned RINO would do better to seek Jesse Ventura’s Independence Party’s nomination … the IP customarily gets 14% of the MN-GOP vote and a proven name like Coleman could easily split the race giving an IP Coleman the victory.

A couple of things jump out at me.
First, that Marty Seifert is very much unknown … for having been the Minority Leader in the MN House (and therefore on the TV news) that is a surprise. Conservatives viewed him unfavorably (19% to 15% with 66% undecided) and McCain voters were similar (18 % to 14% with 68%). Either MN-GOP voters really want someone else that you did not ask about, or he truly is a clean slate. One would have thought his numbers would have been much higher … as he is Minnesota’s Governor-in-waiting … the comment is not in jest as your poll indicates that he would beat both Rybak or Dayton … and notice how many McCain/Conservatives already know enough about Rybak that they don’t like him.
Second, that Mark Dayton may be somewhat forgotten and that should be a concern … the Conservatives don’t like him at 66% unfavorable, but the Moderates are split (32 favorable 35 unfavorable 33 undecided) … for a candidate that has been elected at the statewide and federal levels, that is surprising to see that many undecided. Once the MN-GOP starts reminding voters of Dayton’s performance (those negative commercials) will certainly move that figure. Plus he seems to have a problem with men voters.

It’s too bad that there wasn’t also polling for some of the other leading Democrats --- Tom Bakk, Matt Entenza, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Paul Thiessen, etc.

Minnesota Central said...

TYPO : My comment stated that the Independence Party typically gets 14% of the MN-GOP vote ... should have been 14% of the MN-Governor's vote.

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