A new poll conducted by a Republican-affiliated interest group finds low approval ratings for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Minnesota. The same poll gives fairly high marks for Gov. Mark Dayton.
The Minnesota Jobs Coalition and The Tarrance Group conducted the poll June 9, 10, and 11, sampling 600 voters by landline and cell phone. Yes, the Tarrance Group polls for Republican candidates, but it also produces the Georgetown University Battleground poll, a bipartisan political survey conducted with Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners. The poll has a margin of error four percentage points.
Clinton has the approval of 35 percent of likely voters contacted for the survey, with 49 percent saying they disapprove of her.
Dayton has a 51 percent approval rating and 42 percent disapproval, nearly identical to the 600-person Star Tribune poll taken in March.
A breakdown of demographics shows Clinton with pockets of strength, however. She has the approval of 66 percent of the voters that identified themselves as DFL. But here too, she lags behind Dayton, whose approval rating is 83 percent.
Among women voters, Clinton has a 40 percent approval and a 46 disapproval rating, weaker than in some national surveys. Among unmarried women, her approval climbs to 42 percent, with 43 percent disapproving. Among married women, her approval drops to 39 percent, with 48 percent disapproving.
The larger purpose of the poll, according to MJC executive director John Rouleau, was to survey the issues that Minnesota voters care about. Rouleau declined to go into specifics, but said the top five issues are standard: taxes, spending, education, jobs, and the economy.
The poll also looked at Minnesota house districts that changed representation in 2014, including five rural districts where DFL-ers hold the seat but where Mitt Romney won in 2012. In those districts, which Rouleau did not identify, Clinton holds an approval rating of 37 percent and a disapproval rating of 45 percent.
That finding is important to the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which contributed to the GOP house victories in 2014 that resulted in the Republican majority.
To Rouleau, the Clinton numbers indicate that Hillary Clinton “is not an asset” at the top of the ticket, particularly in the swing legislative districts where the 2016 legislative races will once again be a battleground.