A KSTP/Survey USA poll released Thursday night show GOP challenger Stewart Mills with an 8 point lead over Congressman Rick Nolan in the 8th District.
The northeastern Minnesota district, long a DFL stronghold, has changed in recent years: longtime Congressman Jim Oberstar was beaten by Republican Chip Cravaack in 2010, then Nolan came out of retirement in 2012 to beat Cravaak and return the seat to the DFL column.
But Mills, of the Mills Fleet Farm family, has mounted a strong campaign in the 8th, as the new poll shows.
The poll of 555 likely voters has:
- Mills: 47 percent
- Nolan: 39 percent
- Green Party candidate Ray Sandman: 4 percent
- Undecided: 11 percent
The ubiquitous University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs told Channel 5:
“This is a shocking poll and may suggest we have Oberstar all over again. Clearly Mills is benefiting from a fundamental change in the 8th District that is trending in the Republicans’ direction.”
The addition of some northern Twin Cities suburban areas to the district has lessened the DFL’s hold on the district, the story said. The poll also shows Mills getting a high percentage of independent voters’ support.
And most voters in the poll oppose the Affordable Care Act and support the Polymet mining project.