Turning The Third Purple: The Emmer Surge?

Earlier, we talked about the internal poll that shows Kurt Zellers leading Kate Rodriguez by 24 points in a district where the DFL has staked a lot of mojo – with Margaret Anderson-Kelliher going so far as to say that the district was in the bag for Rodriguez.

But there’s more good news.

The Tarrance Group, which polled 250 people and whose poll has a 6.2 point margin of error, also polled the Governor’s race in 32B.

Now, 32B is a part of the Third CD, which is an area that the “conventional wisdom” has been calling “purple” ever since it was represented by moderate Republican and fellow Jamestown ND native Jim Ramstad.  The DFL continues to push the idea that the Third is “purple”, and incipient DFL turf.

More germane? It’s the second poll in six weeks that Tarrance, and the GOP, have conducted in 32B.

And in August, things looked grim for Emmer; indeed, this corner of the 3rd CD was looking pretty dark purple:

In August, Dayton led Emmer 39 to 36 percent.


The DFL’s narrative looked to be holding up!

But what a difference six weeks makes:

The same poll shows Emmer’s numbers increasing since August while his DFL opponent’s support has decreased. The October poll shows Emmer overtaking Dayton in the district, 41 to 31.

Crosstabs?  The poll was 38% GOP, 32%DFL and 30% independents, which – given that it’s a likely voter poll in what by all accounts will be a bitchin’ conservative year, seems unlikely to be a gross oversample.   I don’t know Tarrance’s likely voter model, but if it’s valid (and for argument, let’s say that it is;  Tarrance’s memo is included below the jump), it could very well be a sign that the Humphrey Institute and Minnesota Polls’ turnout models are too pessimistic, and that the one-percent GOP ID lead in the latest Rasmussen Poll is more accurate than some may have though.

This, if true, is a huge pickup in a purple district; if it’s being replicated elsewhere in third-tier-land and, if the Cravaack poll and the contributions in the First and Seventh districts can be trusted to indicate any synchronicity beyond 32B, it’s a great sign for Emmer – and perhaps a sign that the Twin Cities Big Media and Big Polling have been too bearish on the enthusasm for voting GOP.

Memo from the Tarrance Group, pasted in its entirety:

TO:      The MN House Republican Campaign Committee

FROM: [redacted]

DATE: October 7, 2010

RE:      Key Findings from a Survey of Voter Attitudes in District 32B


The Tarrance Group is pleased to present you with the findings from a survey of likely voter attitudes in Minnesota Legislative District 32B.  All respondents interviewed in this study were part of a fully representative sample of N=250 registered “likely” voters.  The margin of error for the sample is +/- 6.3% in 19 of 20 cases.  The surveys were conducted on October 3-4, 2010.

Executive Summary

With just under one month to go until the Election, Representative Kurt Zellers continues to hold a sizeable lead over his opponent, and is strongly positioned to easily win re-election this November.

The results from this recent survey show Zellers receiving 57% of the vote against DFL challenger Katie Rodriguez, who is back at only 33% on the ballot.

State Representative Ballot*

Zellers Undecided Rodriguez

57%                             11%                             33%

This fully 24-point lead is exactly equal to the lead Zellers had in our late August poll.  That is, Rodriguez is failing to make gains against the incumbent.

The significant lead over his opponent is partly due to stronger partisan intensity among Republicans for Zellers than among DFL voters for Rodriguez.

The sizable advantage is also a function of Zellers strength with Independent voters, among whom Zellers leads Rodriguez by more than four to one.

*Does not total 100% due to rounding.

12 thoughts on “Turning The Third Purple: The Emmer Surge?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » Turning The Third Purple: The Emmer Surge? -- Topsy.com

  2. Everyone has moved more conservative (except for the “Progressive” Fabian socialists who are currently in power).

  3. Great news about Zeller. I like Kurt a lot, and I know they’ve been concerned about a lot of DFL attention being focused on 32. I’ll call it the EdenPrairieization effect.

    The local races are a bitch to predict.

  4. I got the mailing from “the Alliance for a Better Minnesota”. Large, multi-color. ‘Meet the other elephant in the room”. “Just another Republican insider”. And all kinds of nasty attacks on him.

    Has in independent candidate ever has such a large scale negative campaign run against him/her before?

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » Turning The Third Purple: The Emmer Surge? -- Topsy.com

  6. I must not be on the Alliance for a B M mailing list. At least they have one conservative trait.

  7. Zellers is fine, Paulsen will win 60-40 minimum and Emmer could win the congressional district 2:1. The DFL will be beat back and is now too busy trying to defend their turf than trying to attack the increasingly red CD 3. We leaned purple but since Ramstead’s retirement we have been trending more conservative. People here aren’t “happy to pay for a better Minnesota” they like the money in their pockets.

  8. Has in independent candidate ever has such a large scale negative campaign run against him/her before?

    Hutchinson was slammed because he leaned left and was a threat to swipe votes away from Hatch I believe.

  9. The DFL ends up slagging the hell out of IP and, back when they were a “major party”, Green candidate.

  10. Pingback: Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » Underdogs

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