"Doggonit Mr.President, people like you." (minnesota.publicradio.org).
by Tony Petrangelo
Oct 10, 2012, 7:00 AM

Minnesotans shrug off President Obama’s debate performance

And Amy Klobuchar expands her lead over Kurt Bills

Since last weeks Presidential debate, the national polling in that race has tightened considerably, with Mitt Romney even sporting leads over President Obama in some polls. It’s within this broader national context that Public Policy Polling released this poll of Minnesota.

PPP (10/8 9/10 in parenthesis, 6/6 in brackets):

Barack Obama (D-inc) 53 (51) [54]
Mitt Romney (R) 43 (44) [39]
Undecided 4 (5) [7]
(MoE: ±3.2%)

Despite a swoon in his polling numbers nationally, in Minnesota President Obama’s position appears to be slightly stronger than it was a month ago.

And if you’re thinking that the Presidents debate performance must not have registered yet with many of these voters, well let’s just say that the President’s debate performance most certainly has registered with them.

PPP (10/8, no trend lines):

Who do you think won the debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this week?
Barack Obama (D-inc) 19
Mitt Romney (R) 64
Not sure 17
(MoE: ±3.2%)

Despite Minnesotans decidedly unfavorable view of President Obama’s debate performace his lead over Willard Mitt Romney has expanded by three points since the last PPP poll.

And while this three point swing is as likely to be noise as actual movement, it is notable that his lead didn’t deteriorate some, as it has nationally.

A possible explanation for this, if this is the type of thing for which you need an explanation, is that in the month since the last PPP poll an Obama boomlet was missed. The release of the now infamous 47% video occurred during this period, so this is entirely possible.

The thing that’s entirely possible is that after the release of that surreptitiously recorded video Obama’s lead over Romney had expanded to something greater than his current ten point advantage. And than after the debate his lead receded a bit to where it is now.

And since their robots weren’t polling here during that period, PPP’s trend lines don’t show this theoretical trend.

Onto a race for which no explanatory theories are required:

PPP (10/8, 9/10 in parenthesis):

Amy Klobuchar (D-inc) 57 (55)
Kurt Bills (R) 31 (36)
Undecided 12 (10)
(MoE: ±3.2%)

While Obama’s lead expanded by three points, Amy Klobuchar’s lead expanded by seven. Most of this, five points of it to be precise, was due to Kurt Bills shedding support.

This shows up in the cross-tabs as self identified independents moving out of Kurt Bills column and into Amy Klobuchar’s.

Party ID Democrat Republican Independent/Other
Amy Klobuchar 90% (93%) 13% (16%) 59% (52%)
Kurt Bills 4% (2%) 74% (75%) 22% (32%)
Undecided 6% (5%) 13% (9%) 19% (16%)

Other than a YouGov poll from September, Amy Klobuchar has been at 55% or greater in every public poll since pollsters have started polling this race.

I wrote this a couple weeks ago in The Weekly Wrap™ and this poll only reinforces this point:

I seriously doubt Bills gets less than 30% and I’d say he probably has a floor of about 35%. I do think it’s an open question of whether he can clear 40% though and that question will likely be the only thing interesting about this race come election day.

It’s because of the inevitableness of Amy Klobuchars re-election that Republicans in Minnesota with serious aspirations for higher office have been making plans for 2014. That is the year when both “landslide” Al Franken and “landslide” Mark Dayton will be up for re-election.

Well, they are both getting close to being in essentially the same place that A-Klo was after the 2010 election.

PPP (10/8, 9/12 in parenthesis):

Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Mark Dayton’s job performance?
Approve 53 (48)
Disapprove 33 (37)
Not sure 15 (15)

Generally speaking, if there was an election for Governor today, would you vote for Democrat Mark Dayton or his Republican opponent?
Mark Dayton (D-inc) 52 (51)
Republican 35 (38)
Not sure 13 (10)

Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Al Franken’s job performance?
Approve 49 (49)
Disapprove 38 (42)
Not sure 13 (9)

Generally speaking, if there was an election for the Senate today, would you vote for would you vote for Democrat Al Franken or his Republican opponent?
Al Franken (D-inc) 50 (48)
Republican 38 (42)
Not sure 13 (10)
(MoE: ±3.2%)

Dayton’s approval is up by nine points and both incumbents re-elects against a generic Republican are at or above 50%. They are both in a strong position if they wish to run for re-election in 2014.

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