…a Scandinavian-American to the bone, a little innate ethnic pessimism is always struggling with my normally optimistic nature.
Deep in my liver, I do feel as if the Democrats could sweep all eight Congressional districts this fall. Indeed, given that they have an incumbent President, the Dems should feel humiliated if they don’t win the Presidency and flip both chambers of Congress next month.
So that part of me always has a hard time reacting to news like this: when adjusted for a more realistic weighting, the latest KSTP/SUSA poll shows Cravaack ahead of Rick Nolan.
Gary Gross (with the odd bit of emphasis added):
First, this KSTP-SurveyUSA poll oversamples Democrats by a 7-point margin. That can’t be justified, especially considering the fact that the Cook Report listed MN-8 as a D+3 district in 2010. Chip’s won over more Iron Rangers, meaning the Cook Report’s PVI rating is more like D+2 this year.
Second, Chip gets 89% of MN-8 Republicans, 6% of MN-8 DFLers and 53% of MN-8 independents.
Third, the proper weighting of the district is 35% DFL, 34% GOP, 31% independent. That means Chip gets 30.2 votes from Republicans, 2.1 votes from DFL voters and 16.5 votes from independents for every 100 voters. That’s 48.8 votes per hundred for Chip. That’s assuming there isn’t an enthusiasm gap, which there is. That enthusiasm gap favors Chip by a pretty solid margin.
Fourth, Rick Nolan gets 7% of Republican votes, 87% of DFL voters and a pathetic 36% of independents. That means Nolan gets 2.4 votes from the GOP, 30.5 votes from the DFL and 11.2 votes from independents per 100 votes. That’s a total of 44.1 votes per 100 for Nolan.
After factoring the enthusiasm gap that favors Chip, this race isn’t as close as the horserace figures indicate. This race is still competitive. Still, this snapshot must have Chip’s campaign smiling.
This race has been the Holy Grail for MInnesota DFLers. If they don’t beat Cravaack, Duluth will be the new Arnhem.