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KSTP/SUSA 2010 Gubernatorial poll results: Dayton, Rybak the winners

by Populista on May 21, 2009 · 4 comments

We still have 531 days until the 2010 election but the race for governor in Minnesota has already been underway for months. Seven major candidates have entered the DFL field and I continue to hear buzz about five more. Tim Pawlenty remains publicly undecided about if he will run for re-election to a third term or not.

With all that in mind KSTP commissioned a poll from SurveyUSA pitting 9 current or potential DFL candidates against Pawlenty. All announced candidates minus Steve Kelly and plus R.T. Rybak, Chris Coleman and Margaret Anderson Kelliher. It has a fairly small sample size of 552 and doesn’t take into account potential IP or other third party candidates but it’s still interesting to political junkies like me (and probably you if your reading this). It has very good news for R.T. Rybak and Mark Dayton.

In addition it’s very bad news for Tim Pawlenty. When a incumbent is under 50 percent they are considered vulnerable in politics. Three candidates hold him under that mark.

Full results below the fold
First here is a link if you want the entire poll, crosstabs and all. Now the results and some analysis.

47% Tim Pawlenty
43% Mark Dayton
10% Undecided

This is very good news for Dayton. His camp will use this heavily. He has a nice argument developing for his candidacy. He is the only candidate who has won statewide, he polls the best and has strong stances on the issues to boot. He’s already a household name among DFL activists and has a loyal base of support. Entenza has been making smart staff hires, campaigning hard and picking up endorsements recently so this gives the Dayton camp some much needed momentum.

47% Tim Pawlenty
42% R.T. Rybak
11% Undecided

Out of all the potential candidates Rybak is shaping up to be the strongest. Current legislators seem to be doing poorly, Gaertner and Coleman have RNC issues to deal with and Entenza, Dayton and Kelly are longtime players in statewide politics which could damage them among some. Plus he already has a statewide base of loyal suporters from campaigning extremely hard for Barack Obama and other DFL candidates in 2008. He’s running for re-election in 2009 and so can’t do much until November but I wouldn’t be suprised if he’s already taking a very hard look at running.

48% Tim Pawlenty
37% Chris Coleman
15% Undecided

Solid numbers for Coleman who seems to be making clear signals that he’s in the race but it won’t help that his fellow big city mayor is doing 6 points better then him.

51% Tim Pawlenty
37% Matt Entenza
12% Undecided

Encouraging signs for his campaign that he’s doing better then any current legislators including MAK  but he still has a lot of work to do closing the gap.  

50% Tim Pawlenty
36% Susan Gaertner
14% Undecided

Decent numbers for the Gaertner camp. They can point to the fact that she’s doing better then all the legislators and keeps Pawlenty to 50 percent but it won’t matter much if she can’t put together a viable endorsement campaign.

52% Tim Pawlenty
34% Tom Bakk
14% Undecided

Bakk has a slightly more influential position then Thissen which probably is why he does three points better but he’s never run for statewide office and is from the Iron Range so it’s not hugely surprising that not many people know who he is and thus tell pollsters they wouldn’t vote for him.

51% Tim Pawlenty
34% John Marty
15% Undecided

Marty was on the ballot statewide in 1994 so you’d hope he would do a little better then this. But the gap between him and Pawlenty is about half as much as how much he lost to Arne Carlson by so it’s progress I guess.

51% Tim Pawlenty
34% Margaret Anderson Kelliher
15% Undecided

Not very good news for Kelliher and will probably make her think twice about giving up the Speakership which she could probably hold for decades (she’s in her early 40s) for a risky run for governor.

51% Tim Pawlenty
32% Paul Thissen
17% Undecided

Not great numbers for Thissen but not very surprising. How many people do you think know who he is? He’s a state representative who isn’t in the leadership and has been serving for 7 years. I can’t imagine his name ID was very high.

There you have it. It is a long, long way until the election and if polls decided elections President Hillary Clinton would be sitting in the White House currently (and would be nominating Barack Obama to be Justice Barack Obama?) but this is very good news for Rybak and Dayton and not good news for MAK and the rest of the legislators. It’s interesting that Steve Kelly got left out. What’s up with that KSTP?  

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