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KSTP-SurveyUSA poll: Dayton and Franken still lead, but it’s close

The poll released Sunday shows Franken up by 11 and Dayton up by 5, the narrowest margins of the campaign.

The final KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA poll of this campaign season came out Sunday and show Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton maintaining the leads they’ve held all along, even if those leads are as close as they’ve ever been.

It shows Dayton leading GOP challenger Jeff Johnson 47-42 percent and Franken leading GOP challenger Mike McFadden 51-40 percent.

Notes the story: Dayton led in the same poll by 12 points a month ago and five points two weeks ago. Franken’s lead in the poll by 18 points a month ago, and 15 points two weeks ago.

Independence Party candidates didn’t fare well in the poll; gubernatorial candidate Hannah Nicollet had 2 percent and Steve Carlson in the Senate race had 4 percent.  “One of its candidates in a statewide race must collect five per cent of the vote or the crucial ‘major’ status is gone,” notes Doug Grow in a recent MinnPost story.

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Another key finding in the poll:

The Senate race is tied 44 percent to 44 percent in northeastern Minnesota. The governor’s race is tied 45 percent to 45 percent in that key area of the state.

The poll, a survey of 596 “likely and actual voters” taken last week, has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.