A new Star Tribune poll of 999 likely voters gives Mark Dayton at 41 percent to 34 percent lead over Republican Tom Emmer.
Dayton’s lead fell 2 points from a September survey, even though both men posted higher percentages. This is yet another poll indicating Tom Horner has peaked; the Independence Party’s nominee’s total fell 5 points, to 13 percent from September’s 18. Twelve percent didn’t know or refused to answer.
The four-day survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points, and had 34 percent Democrats, 31 percent Independents and 30 percent Republicans. The Strib’s pollster, Princeton Survey Research Associates, includes voters who have cell phones but no landlines, a factor believed to help Democrats.
While Republicans regularly mock the Strib poll as pro-Democrat, the major surveys this month are coalescing despite differing methodologies; all now have Dayton’s lead is in a narrow band of 3 to 7 percentage points. (A new MPR/Humphrey Institute survey should be out before month’s end; it showed Dayton up by 11 in September.)
The Strib survey backs a Rasmussen result that Horner has the lowest favorables among the three candidates, though all three candidates have a net-unfavorable rating.
Meta-pollster FiveThirtyEight.com gives Dayton an 82.8 percent chance of winning. It has not yet incorporated the latest Strib result, but currently projects a 46-40 Dayton win in November.