Getting Nervous in Minnesota? Obama +4, 47 to 43 — Glen Bolger

We’ve had a surprising number of posts on Minnesota this cycle.  It’s a state that has undeniably been trending Republican for years but was thought to be just out of reach this election.  Nagging anecdotal things, however, keep cropping up making this state all the more intriguing down the home stretch.  Paul Ryan heads there for a fundraiser nest week but no rallies are scheduled. Far more interesting is Jill Biden heads there next week for an official rally.  Now to be clear her ranking in importance is last among the big four: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and wife of the Vice President but it is an official visit which is very telling. This also isn’t their first campaign stop in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. The big dogs visited earlier in the calendar: The President held an official rally in June and the Vice President campaigned in Minneapolis and St. Paul in August :

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will campaign in Minnesota next week. Events aren’t finalized but a Democratic official says Biden will campaign in Minneapolis and Duluth on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20. This will be Jill Biden’s second campaign stop in Minnesota since Labor Day.

The announcement comes on the same day that Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for Vice President, is scheduled to hold a private fundraiser in Minneapolis. Guests are being asked to give at least $1,000 to attend the event. Couples who give $25,000 can attend a private dinner with Ryan.

Ryan has no public events scheduled in the state – a signal that Minnesota may be losing the swing state status it gained in prior election cycles. Mitt Romney held a private fundraiser in Minnesota in August but held no public events.

Now we have the explanation.  Respected Republican pollster Glen Bolger ran a poll for a pro-Romney PAC, the American Future Fund, and the results show President Obama with a 4-point lead, 47 to 43:

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan trail Barack Obama and Joe Biden by just four points – 43% Romney/Ryan to 47% Obama/Biden in the Presidential race in Minnesota. While Minnesota is a Democratic state, the Romney/Ryan ticket’s 45%-32% lead over Obama/Biden among Independents makes the state competitive. Romney/Ryan lead 45%-42% among men, but trail 42%-52% among women. Romney’s image is 45% favorable/44% unfavorable, which is a little weaker than Obama’s 50% favorable/44% unfavorable image. However, among Independents, Romney has a huge advantage. He has a 50% fav/33% unfav image, while Obama is at a staggeringly bad 36% fav/49% unfav. When we asked voters if what they “have seen, read or heard about the Presidential debate make you more favorable or less favorable to Mitt Romney,” fully 47% said more favorable while 29% said less favorable – a net of +18 points. Barack Obama did not fare as well: only 23% were more favorable to him because of the debate, while 45% were less favorable – a net of -22. A state that has elected several Republicans to statewide office is competitive on the Presidential level as well.


  1. Big Dee
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t believe MN has EVER been considered a swing state. even in the Reagan landslides it did not go for the GOP.

    • Kevin
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think Romney has as much chance of winning Minnesota as Obama has winning Texas.

      It will be interesting to watch the poll numbers that come out after the upcoming debate in the “Big 10” country of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It almost did. Reagan lost by only 3500 votes.

  2. Pete
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A poster on Hedgehog Report mentioned a American Future Fund Poll ( Oct 7-8) of Minnesota : Obama 47 Romney 43 with a 4.3% moe. FWIW.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Romney winning Independents. Same story.

      Their ad is pretty good too:

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      But most likely, this is the type of non-push poll that gets the highest leverage from the higher amount of undecideds to produce a tighter result. That 10% undecided is probably more than likely 7:3 or 8:2 Obama voters, so 54-46 or so.

      Same thing in the poll showing Obama up by 2 in Arizona. 42-40 18% undecided in Arizona 3 weeks out from the Presidential? No. Same thing. So, 55-45 or so.

  3. No Tribe
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ad buys for week ending 10/15 look great. Romney finally outspending Obama in all of the big states.

    • WillBest
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      what site are you pulling that from?

      • Eric
        Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        national journal has a good summary.

  4. Timothy
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If…big if…Minnesota is in play, then I expect to see a campaign rally from Romney/Ryan’s team in Oregon. Heck, send some people there. Why not. They have nothing to lose.

  5. wmart
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    For what it’s worth, the updated University of Colorado electoral model predicts that Romney will win Minnesota.

    • jeff
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Cold day in hell before BO wins AZ.

      • damien
        Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        now…but soon will be the day d’s win az and r’s win minn

  6. Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have friends up in Minny and they seem to think the state is in play. Every state has gone Republican since the last time Minnesota went to the GOP in 1972. It’s time.

    But, there’s no need for Romney to be aggressive there. It’s looking more and more like IF he can nail down Ohio and hold onto his gains, that he will be President. Campaign activity here in Florida for Obama is clearly ramping down and the feeling is that Obama’s campaign is conceding the state. Have heard that Virginia is in the same camp. I think Colorado is also the same. Those three swing and Ohio is all that is needed to go over the top.

    The turnout at Romney rallies in Ohio has been great to see. There are thousands up there volunteering to get the state back in the GOP column where it should be. I think Biden’s M1 comment was really stepping in it up there and Romney’s China criticisms resonate.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ryan is there tonight.

      • stephanie
        Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Is he there for rally or fundraising?

      • Posted October 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        He is there to help ou Michele Bachmann.

      • No Tribe
        Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Where does that M1 comment play in Ohio?

  7. Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Remember, it’s not only about whether RRNA need that state for the Electoral College. There are down-ballot races. Mitt needs a Republican Senate

  8. Kevin
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank God. Michelle is a very valuable member in the House.

    • Ron lazas
      Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      Is there any chance that Mitt may take a side trip into Minn to freak out Obozo?

  9. Aaron H
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think it’s wise for R&R to spend much effort here. MN may well vote in Romney’s favor, but Sec. of State Mark Ritchie (Soros’ supported) will see to it that a recount puts O in front. (Just like Emmer/Dayton and Franken/Coleman)

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      Definitely true. The focus is really on Ohio right now. If Minnesota goes to Romney then he will have already won. The benefit is long term, making the Dems have to have to defend Minnesota in the future. Same would go for Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. I still think those states have a solid chance of moving too.

  10. Mandrake
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 5:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    I thought it rather peculiar when in the debate the candidates were sharing “personal stories” of people whom they had met on the campaign trail — people who always “coincidentally” happen to reside in a swing state — and Obama included one from a person n Minnesota. His internal polling had/has to be showing him something. Minnesota has two constitutional amendments on the ballot which tend to attract conservative voters: a voter ID initiative and a amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and woman (like North Carolina passed recently). The state has a Repub majority in both the House and Senate, and would have a Repub governor had it not been for a Charlie Crist-like Republican running as an independent — thus splitting the ticket and enabling the Democrat candidate to win a very narrow victory.

    Jill Biden merely being the one visiting the Land of Lakes still means something when you consider Obama would do everything imaginable to avoid the unfavorable optics of he himself having to go to a “Blue state” at this stage in the campaign. In other words, if Obama himself went the visit would convey that his campaign is in trouble and alarm bells would be heard all across his base. The media would be all over it… well, FOX would at least.

  11. AussieMarcus
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wasn’t there a post here a while back saying the Minnesota is now only a point or two more Democratic than the US overall, compared to 10+% more in the past?

    So certainly if Romney is up nationally, Minnesota would be very close.

6 Trackbacks

  1. […] Backer from the blog post to some good stuff. He found an interesting tidbit about Minnesota, and the fact that the two camps are actually looking a little closer. Certainly, it is still a […]

  2. […] Harry Reid would win his 2010 Senate Race in Nevada. Very interesting results in Minnesota. BATTLEGROUND WATCH: “. . . Respected Republican pollster Glen Bolger ran a poll for a pro-Romney PAC, the […]

  3. By Minnesota Again « Battleground Watch on October 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    […] told you earlier about Jill Biden heading to Minnesota, now Chuck Todd breaks another piece to the story: MT @chucktodd Yesterday, Obama campaign added MN […]

  4. […] has crept into the news cycle recently with senior campaign surrogates stumping in the state and campaign dollars flowing to a state once thought out of reach for Republicans this cycle. I […]

  5. […] has crept into the news cycle recently with senior campaign surrogates stumping in the state and campaign dollars flowing to a state once thought out of reach for Republicans this cycle. I […]

  6. […] 1-point in Minnesota, 46 to 45. This is a 5-point swing from the 4-point lead Obama enjoyed in the October 13 poll by Bolger. In both polls the most troubling thing for the President is his deficit below the 50% mark. As we […]

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