Minnesota Second Congressional District Representative John Kline (blogs.mprnews.org).
by Tony Petrangelo
Oct 30, 2013, 8:00 AM

Second poll in less than a week shows John Kline in trouble

Last week I covered a PPP poll sponsored by The House Majority PAC which showed John Kline trailing his 2012 opponent, DFLer Mike Obermueller, 42-38. That poll was what you might call a “shock poll.” A poll with numbers so different from anything seen before that it shocks the senses. But shock polls can sometimes be so shocking that it makes one question the validity of the poll itself.

Fortunately, for our purposes, PPP is back with another poll concerning congressman John Kline, and this one confirms the findings of the aforementioned “shock poll.”

PPP (10/23-24, no trend lines):

John Kine (R-inc) 40
Democratic opponent (D) 46
Undecided 13
(MoE: ±3.5%)

Unlike the the poll sponsored by The House Majority PAC, SEIU (who sponsored this poll) didn’t ask the horse-race question with Mike Obermueller’s name, but rather with “Democratic opponent” pitted against John Kline. The numbers are similar though, against Obermueller he got 38% and against “Democratic opponent” he got 40%. Which in polling terms are essentially the same result.

That result, at or below 40%, is firmly in the Danger Zone for an incumbent congressperson.

Another difference between the two polls is that SEIU didn’t have PPP ask a favorable/unfavorable question, but they did ask for job approval numbers in both polls and as with the ballot test, the news for John Kline is decidedly not good.

PPP (10/23-24, 10/21-22 in parenthesis):

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Representative John Kline is doing in Congress?
Approve 34 (31)
Disapprove 42 (40)
Not sure 23 (29)
(MoE: ±3.5%)

Unlike the previously released House Majority PAC poll, this poll has the benefit of including cross tabs. If one were to look within the cross tabs one would see that 50% of independents disapprove of the job that John Kline is doing while only 27% approve. This is not good.

In this swing district that President Obama narrowly won in 2012, John Kline’s path to victory has to include winning the independent vote, and right now he is not doing that. And he is not doing that by a rather stunning margin.

In October of last year, just prior to the election, SurveyUSA issued a poll of Minnesota’s second congressional district that showed John Kline winning independents 48-35, a thirteen point margin.

This poll shows exactly the opposite, the “Democratic opponent” wins independents by a 46-33 score, a 13 point margin in the other direction. If John Kline loses the independent vote next November, he will likely lose the election. This poll shows him losing the independent vote by quite a bit.

Two polls have now shown John Kline at or below 40% in a ballot test and approaching double digit job disapproval numbers. If there was any reason to be dubious about the results of the first poll, the results of the second should remove them. John Kline is in trouble.

As with anything, past results do not guarantee future performance, and since we’re still a year away from the election that future performance is very hard to predict. It’s too early to say that these numbers will or will not hold until November 2014, but that doesn’t change the fact that right now John Kline looks like he’ll be getting turned out of office next year.

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