The Washington Post and ABC News joint polling operation has fresh numbers on the presidential race in Minnesota that show Joe Biden with a surprising 16-point lead over Donald Trump among likely voters.
I don’t assume it is “correct,” because it’s out of line with most other recent polls, but this is a serious polling operation. I have also been skeptical of some other recent polls that showed Biden leading by just a point of two. I suspect the reality is someplace between them (and many other polls have shown the Biden lead in the high single digits). But I pass it along because we’re Minnesotans and it pushes back a bit against the idea that Minnesota — which hasn’t gone red in a presidential election since 1972, the longest blue streak of any state — is seriously in play.
It’s true that Trump exceeded the late polling average in Minnesota in 2016 and came within 1.5 percentage points of carrying the state, and has been targeting it ever since as a potential 2020 pickup. And this Post-ABC News poll won’t end that talk unless it’s confirmed by a lot of other polls, which I don’t expect, since it’s the biggest Biden lead in Minnesota I’ve seen.
But it’s certainly a splash of cold water on Trump’s claims that he will carry the state.
The polling obsessives at FiveThirtyEight.com, on whom I rely heavily for polling wisdom, rate the Post/ABC polling operation as an A+, a rating it gives to few other pollsters. 538 also often adjusts poll results for what it perceives as potential inaccuracy, but it passed along the Post/ABC Minnesota result unchanged.
A couple of details from the poll:
The Post-ABC News sample said it trusted Biden more on every issue the poll asked about. Trump came closest on “the economy,” where Minnesotans trusted Biden more by just 49-46. Biden scored best (or, perhaps, one should say Trump scored worst) on ability to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, where more Minnesotans trusted Biden by 58-36, and “equal treatment of racial groups,” Biden: 59; Trump: 35.
The same batch of Post-ABC News polls included fresh results from neighboring Wisconsin, a state Trump carried in 2016. That poll showed Biden also ahead, but by a narrower 52-46 percent margin.