Thursday, September 16, 2010

GPI update; SurveyUSA's Dem Downer Tour

SurveyUSA has shown some particularly bad numbers for Democrats this cycle and while their latest poll on the Minnesota governors race isn't bad news, it certainly isn't good. Here are the toplines:

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There has been some significant movement towards Tom Emmer from the last SurveyUSA poll, both of which have been polls of likely voters, while Tom Horner has doubled his polling number. As I mentioned previously SurveyUSA has been Rasmussenesque in their election polling this year, often showing the Democratic candidate doing far worse then other pollsters, but they had been bucking that trend in Minnesota, until now that is.

Tom Horner's movement is not really that surprising, if his campaign trajectory is anything like the typical Independence party candidate he'll possibly get as high as the low twenties in polling before falling back to the mid teens on election day.

Tom Emmer's movement isn't that surprising either, it's the degree to which the race has tightened that is surprising. Tightening was expected as the race went on, but it's already happened. The question is did the race tighten or was it always this tight? There were a total of three polls that showed Mark Dayton with a double digit lead, but all of those were taken either right before or right after the DFL primary, when Mark Dayton's name was in the news a lot. If you exclude those polls then this poll is right in line with all the others, so it may just be that the race was always this tight.

What this also means is that while the previously released Humphrey poll initially looked like an outlier, this SurveyUSA poll is confirmation of Humphrey's numbers to a degree. The SurveyUSA poll has a much more believable 33/33/29 partisan split, yet it shows a similar result. The only curious aspect of the SurveyUSA poll, and this has been a feature of a lot of their polls this cycle, is the Republican candidate winning younger voters by a huge margin. This would seem to fly in the face of everything we know about young voters, but in this cycle conventional wisdom can probably be disregarded.

What does this mean? It means we've got a lot of work to do between now and November, but I still feel good about our chances.

Here's the updated GPI, now free of all pre-primary polls.

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