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SUSA: Obama over McCain by 5 in state; Edwards trumps Pawlenty

A new Survey USA poll of Minnesotans gives Barack Obama a 5-point advantage over John McCain. When paired with vice-presidential hopefuls, Pawlenty helps John McCain – unless Obama picks John Edwards.

A new Survey USA poll of Minnesota is out, and shows Barack Obama with a 5-point lead over John McCain, 47 percent to 42 percent. That’s considerably closer than the 13-percent margin in most recent Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, which gave Obama a 13-point advantage, 51 percent to 38 percent.

The poll also pairs the prospective nominees with vice-presidential possibilities, and the news for Tim Pawlenty is terrific — he lifts McCain to 5- or 8-point wins, depending on Obama’s pick.

There is, however, one Pawlenty-besting exception: John Edwards. The ex-senator, ex-Presidential candidate and current antipoverty crusader expands Obama’s 5-point margin to 7, and propels the ticket to double-digit margins otherwise.

Curiously, SUSA didn’t poll an Obama-Clinton ticket; Obama is also paired with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sibelius, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, and antiwar GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel. McCain was also paired with vanquished presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney plus prowar Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman.

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The 600-respondent poll, taken for KSTP-TV two weeks ago (May 16-18) has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. The Strib’s survey was conducted a week earlier (May 12-15), polled 1,117 people and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

(Hat tip: MPR’s Tom Scheck.)