It’s just an MPR poll.
But we’re just about two months from the election – so we’re getting to the point that a well-done poll is getting to be worth something.
The poll – which focuses on likely voters, whom conventional wisdom says tend to break for the GOP – shows that the money Dayton’s spent on his soft-money smear campaign so far is just keeping things close in a year that’s going to be terrible for Dems, even in Minnesota.
It also shows that Emmer is losing some of the “base”. Part of that is that the “base” is so ill-defined; I’m not sure how MPR identified “Republicans”; there’s a big difference between someone whose total identification is having voted for McCain in 2008 versus someone who went to the precinct caucuses. The former is much more likely to defect, I’m going to guess. More to the point, a fair chunk of respondents showed some degree of “Pawlenty fatigue” – while they may have voted Republican, these are not the kind of voters who are motivated by principles and policy specifics; they vote on the sort of surface-y things that the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” campaign has focused on.
And yet for all of Dayton’s family’s millions in the race, it’s deadlocked, in a poll that has trended slightly Dayton so far.
Expect a Star Tribune/Minnesota poll shortly that shows an implausibly-large Dayton lead from a poll that oversamples DFLers by five percent. The Minnesota Poll largely serves as a morale-building tool for the DFL; they may need one after this MPR poll.