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Mark Dayton 4:1 favorite, says FiveThirtyEight.com

Boosted by a spate of good polling, Mark Dayton's chances of becoming governor have topped 80 percent, according to the New York Times' closely watched poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight.com.

Dayton — who now leads in all four major statewide polls — has been FiveThirtyEight's favorite since July, but this is his highest general election number. Dayton was pegged as the 83 percent favorite on Aug. 15, but that was based on balmy primary numbers.

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver gives more credence to polls with better historic track records (SurveyUSA and Rasmussen, in our case), which GOP complainers about the Star Tribune and Humphrey Institute/MPR polls should note.

Of course, Nate's model is only as good as his data, so it can always be a case of garbage-in, garbage-out. And no October poll gets you elected, even if it influences politicos, journalists and donors.

I'm not sure how many folks would take Dayton if they had to give 4:1 odds (fess up in the comments, brave souls). The Times political desk still rates the race a toss-up. So campaign on, everyone.

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Comments (19)

If only the pollsters could predict who will actually show up to vote.

You are correct in suggesting that this is far from over.

Three words: 2006. Dutcher. Ethanol.

Brau-

$40 bucks to Habitat for Humanity if Emmer wins from me.
$10 bucks to HH if Dayton wins from you.

You on?

Bill Gleason

An informal road survey (kind of how they predict pheasant populations) around my fortified compound in the western metro indicates a very strong Emmer turnout is coming.

Also regarding yesterday's comparison of Gail Rosenblum to Laura ingraham:

I know Gail Rosenblum. I like Gail Rosenblum, But she , sir, is no Laura Ingraham.

The latest Rasmussen Poll that I can find on-line, October 8th, reports, "Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer are still in a virtual tie in Minnesota’s gubernatorial contest." This seems incongruous with Nate Silver giving more credence to Rasmussen, and declaring 4:1 odds. I expect this will be a very close contest. Weather could play a role, as will the energy of the political bases on election day.

How many Minnesotan or Americans would miss a meal on election day in order to vote? I am afraid that the answer would disappoint.

We'll all be missing meals if this country does not get taken back from the radical socialist left.

Silver hasn't commented specifically on the Minnesota governor's race lately, but he did publish a series of essays regarding his 'odds'; bottom line is that even relatively slim margins (roughly 3%) a short time prior to an election have historically been much more resilient at election time than people imagine.

I'm sure that most of the roughly 20% of scenarios where Emmer ends up as governor start with Dayton letting his foot off the gas, so to speak. Without that, or some spectacular gaffe, I'm expecting a relatively calm Dayton win in about two weeks time.

While Nate's predictions have been remarkably accurate in most races, I'm not sure how accurately his models (or anyone's really) can account for races with third-party candidates--historically there are relatively few such races and therefore the statistics are less certain... so I at least find this prediction a little more doubtful than it appears.

We'll all be missing a lot of meals, healthcare and our Social Security if the radical right wins and continues to let banks, businesses and Wall Street run amok!

Steve Rose writes
"The latest Rasmussen Poll that I can find on-line, October 8th, reports, "Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer are still in a virtual tie in Minnesota’s gubernatorial contest." This seems incongruous with Nate Silver giving more credence to Rasmussen, and declaring 4:1 odds."

Silver's model credits Rasmussen as reliable in the context of Rasmussen being consistent. He views Rasmussen as consistently favoring the Repubs, which his model apparently accounts for by discounting Rasmussen's numbers for Repubs. In other words, if a Rasmussen poll shows the Repub & Dem tied, Silver counts it has a small Dem lead. At least that's how I understand it.

BD Maginnis writes
"An informal road survey (kind of how they predict pheasant populations) around my fortified compound in the western metro indicates a very strong Emmer turnout is coming."

That's the funny thing - those of us conducting such polls aren't using representative sampling. By my count, there are far more Horner signs than Emmer or Dayton signs. Now, I don't think that's indicative of a Horner win, so much as Emmer not getting traction in neighborhoods that I count as traditional GOP strongholds.

I'll take Dayton in that bet.

Steve,

The 4:1 odds is not based on one poll. One poll with a slim lead like that the one you cite isn't enough to give Dayton an 80% chance of winning.

However, polls in the aggregate, meaning polls conducted by different firms all showing Dayton with a lead validates the results of any individual poll.

Essentially, any one poll can be wrong; however, if multiple polls by different firms show similar results to each other, it becomes very unlikely that all of those polls are wrong.

Sheila:

"Radical right"?

Since when does does advocating for right over wrong equate to "radical"?

Answer: When you are a radical socialist.

Mr. Maginnis,

You're going to need to state a lot more facts to convince anyone that you're "advocating right over wrong".

So far all I see are unsubstantiated opinions.

4:1 odds is essentially a tossup, just with a weighted coin. None of the other big races in MN is even that close. The best odds on a house race flipping seats is 5%.

I am not sure why money continues to pour in for Tarryl Clark seeing her 2% odds when it would be better spent in dozens of other close races across the country.

Andrew, Nate Silver has written a little about predictions involving races with a (more viable) third-party candidate, that the "uncertainty is significantly magnified" (see below comment #12, http://goo.gl/jjMi). Still, he takes this and other uncertainties into his projection methods.

@#6 "We'll all be missing meals if this country does not get taken back from the radical socialist left."

Really? The lefties in Congress is trying to pass unemployment benefits extensions, and tax breaks for small businesses, while the right's proposal appears to be "Let them eat urinal cake."

The conservatives in Minnesota are spending a million dollars to send out 400,000 DVDs about preventing gay marriage, when that money could have provided 9 million meals or fed 10,000 families of four for a month!

There are already thousands of Americans missing meals because the corporatist right wing in power for 8 years waged war instead of peace which created a deficit unlike any the U.S. has seen before (oh yeah, they kept if off the books so the people didn't know about it until this administration accounted for it properly). The Republicans in power early in that administration deregulated the greedy banks and corporations allowing them to nearly destroy the economy. And while they were at it they made torture an American tradition instead of human rights and warrantless wire tapping, thanks to GOP bureaucrats, is the norm no longer forbidden unless justified. Give me the Democrats anytime. I'd rather pay taxes to get good services and restore the America the GOP administration nearly destroyed before it was kicked out by an overwhelming majority vote of the American people.

The race IS a toss-up! I'd like to believe Dayton is a heavy favorite, but as I scan the polls and talk to insiders, I get the feeling that Dayton is holding steady, Emmer is declining and Horner is gaining ground quite rapidly. Obviously, Minnesota will have another Governor elected by a minority of the voters. When will we ever get "second choice" voting?