« Comment Double-Posting Problems? | Main | Small Bush Lead in NM »

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Rasmussen: Tie in MN

Posted by DavidNYC

The first quasi-post RNC swing state poll - for Minnesota - is out, courtesy of Scott Rasmussen. This is not one of Rasmussen's weird month-long polls, though it did take them a week to collect their sample. This means that part of the survey was taken before the Republican convention and part was taken after. Without further ado (likely voters, August in parens):

Kerry: 46 (48)
Bush: 46 (44)
Other/Undecided: 8 (9)
(MoE: ��5%)

I don't know how much stock you can put into the trendline numbers because those are from one of those bizarre all-month polls. The MoE is also pretty hefty. And given the enormous scrutiny being applied lately to likely voter models, I suggest a liberal application of salt before digesting this poll.

I'm not a Rasmussen subscriber, so I don't have access to the full internals, but we do know that Kerry (54%) & Bush (52%) are pretty evenly matched in favorability. I do wonder what the unfavorable numbers look like, though.

P.S. Rasmussen's national tracking poll has Bush up 48-46. I may not be so fond of his firm, but Rasmussen and Time/Newsweek can't both be right. Ralph in comments below has more on this.

(Thanks to rimjob.)

Posted at 09:18 PM in Minnesota | Technorati


I don't get what all the hoopla is about. Kerry got a 3-4 point bounce at the Dem. convention, and Bush got a 3-4 point bounce at the GOP. More important, since we're all believers in free markets (right?), we should be looking to the Iowa electronic markets as the best unbiased guide to the true probabilities. And those numbers suggest a popular vote outcome of Bush=51% Kerry=49% (of the 2-party vote) -- about the same as before the convention. More significantly, their "winner-takes-all" market, which reflects the PROBABILITY each candidate will win, shows Bush 56% Kerry 44%, which is close to where it was before and close enough to 50-50 for my taste [to put this in perspective, the GOP has an 88% probability of retaining a majority in the House]. Anyway, this suggests that the GOP convention bounce was SLIGHTLY more than expected, but that the race is still basically a toss-up.

Posted by: Jason at September 6, 2004 12:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I realize MN will be close, but I'm not as worried about it as WI, which does seem to be trending Bush, at least if the polls are to be believed. Kerry very much needs to hold onto all of the states Gore won in 2000. If he can do that, all he needs is one of the Big Three: OH, MO, or FL to become president.

The former Gore states that Kerry must protect appear to be WI, IO, MN, MI, and PA. I think he can hold them all, though it will be as challenging for him as for Bush to hold onto the Big Three.

Bush has already lost NH, and he's going to need to hold onto the rest of the states that voted for him in 2000. He will also be fighting like mad in the Big Three. All three continue to lean Repbublican, but if Kerry plays his cards right, surely he'll be able to pick off one of them.

The bottom line: Kerry and his campaign need to hit OH, MI, PA, MO, IO, MN, WI, and FL extremely hard. It's all about focusing on the prize and not getting side-tracked with states like AR or NC.

Posted by: Pepe at September 6, 2004 09:05 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe, Arkansas has been tied since the very first poll came out. It's at least as winnable as Missouri if not slightly more so. If it comes down to scaling back operations in certain states, North Carolina is defintely one that should be abandoned....as a last resort. The Gore strategy of winning just enough places to get by is suicide. The Democrats need to become a national party or they'll continue to be defeated over and over and over again.

Furthermore, Bush's bounce (which appears thave been more like eight points than four) has shown me the electorate isn't quite as evenly split as I had anticipated. A candidate with negative momentum like Kerry can go on a Mondale-esque death spiral if he fails to reverse the trend. Thus, I don't know if it's reasonable to suggest that "Bush has already lost New Hampshire". If Kerry continues to get the "already lost" headlines he has been, NH voters will go Bush by wide margins. The GOP has Kerry is a very tough situation right now. They shot holes in the public's ability to see him as a leader apable of taking down terrorists and finishing the job in Iraq....to which Kerry responds by saying he served better in Vietnam than Bush and Cheney did, and that Bush has handled the economy poorly. I realize Kerry desperately needs to go on offense, but I question the effectiveness of returning the subject to Vietnam and and the economy when the GOP convention has just convinced everyone that the terrorist bogeyman in our biggest, and indeed only, fear.

Posted by: Mark at September 6, 2004 10:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I question the effectiveness of returning the subject to Vietnam and and the economy when the GOP convention has just convinced everyone that the terrorist bogeyman in our biggest, and indeed only, fear.

What's so weird is that an NPR in NC today says that in my state the top two election issues are jobs and the economy. So the GOP has not convinced Tar Heels that it's terrorism. Yet, this state is definitely in Bush's pocket, which is kind of hard to figure, considering our economy has been a mixed bag over the past four years--not as bad as Ohio's, but certainly not booming like Florida's. I wish Kerry had some of the charisma and appeal of Clinton. A politician's personality should not matter, but we all know that it does. I really do feel that's part of the reason why OH, despite all of its job losses, is still so close, and why a state like NC is completely out of reach for the Democrats in this election.

Speaking of NC, did y'all hear that the NC State Employees Union (50,000 strong) is backing the GOP candidate for governor, Ballentine? This was huge news here, and it's due to our current Governor Easley's parsimony in terms of their raises. Easley still leads, but the GOP challenger is making the gubernatorial race far more interesting than most observors here thought it would be.

Posted by: Pepe at September 6, 2004 11:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I would just like to ask anyone who might be reading here why the Zogby and Rasmussen polls have not received any media attention while the Time and Newsweek polls are all over the cable networks. Are these polls not as highl;y regarded or whta is the dynamic here?

Posted by: William at September 6, 2004 12:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Zogby and Rasmussen are relatively new in comparison to Time/Newsweek. I used to read rasmussen and zogby in 2000, and at the end, zogby was more accurate. Rasmussen has gotten better this time around, and if you compare it to zogby, it's normally 3 or 4 points off. So if rasmussen shows Bush ahead by 2 or 3 points, it probably means they're about even. I call it the Ed correction factor.

Posted by: Ed at September 6, 2004 12:50 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Minnesota is pretty much in the bag for the Democrats. I wouldn't put very much stock in these numbers. However you should watch our friends to the east. Wisconsin is not looking good this time around.

Posted by: David Trinh at September 6, 2004 12:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wisconsin is not looking good this time around.

I'm worried about the Badger State, too. If Kerry loses it, it cancels out the importance of MO. What I mean is, Bush could lose MO and win the election by carrying FL and OH and causing WI to swing for him.

Actually, if Kerry loses MN, he'll probably lose the entire Upper Midwest, making it more likely a Bush landslide. I don't believe that will happen, however.

Posted by: Pepe at September 6, 2004 01:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not convinced Minnesota is in the bag for Democrats. I live here and can attest to the silent plurality of Minnesotans that now seem to align themselves with the GOP. Reading letters to the editor of major and minor newspapers in the state, along with my personal experience with political conversation around here, would suggest Bush is headed for stunning defeat....yet the prominence of Bush buttons at the Minnesota State Fair was nearly double that of Kerry. Perhaps it's not a representative sample, but cause for concern considering that the last three election cycles have produced droves of Republican voters from fast-growing Minnesota suburbs and exurbs, quietly distorting polls taken as recently as three days before the election. The Star Tribune poll showed Gore leading Bush by 10 in MN as of 11-5-00. By 11-7-00, Gore won by 2.4%. A similar situation unfolded in the 2002 Senate race, with polls taken AFTER the Wellstone Memorial missing the mark about the outcome by 5-7 points. Until I start seeing double-digit Kerry leads in Minnesota polls, I will concede that same-day registration laws that used to benefit Democrats here will either put Bush over the edge or keep Dan Rather from calling the state until well after 10 p.m.

I'm no more worried about Wisconsin than Minnesota. I was very surprised to see Gore win there in 2000, and given the lack of population growth in Republican suburbia (far less growth than in neighboring MN anyway), don't see how Bush will have much luck winning over Gore voters while many 2000 Nader voters in left-wing Madison (the city that single-handedly makes Wisconsin a competitive state) will go Kerry. In Wisconsin, the relatively slow population growth tells me the voters are generally the same people as they were in 2000. With six of the nation's 100 fastest growing counties in suburban and exurban Minnesota, the same cannot be said of that state, and I'm guessing we have 50,000 new Republican voters here since 2000 (while new Democrats probably make up a mere fraction of the Minnesota newcomers at the same time as "Old Minnesota" DFLers are dying off at an alarming rate).

Conventional wisdom suggests that Minnesota is Kerry's most likely victory of the Big Three in the Upper Midwest. I say it ranks a distant second behind Iowa, where I believe Kerry has a very strong chance at victory unless his campaign meltdown continues at current pace. I honestly wouldn't give Kerry much better than 50-50 odds at either MN or WI.

Posted by: Mark at September 6, 2004 03:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I happen to live in Minnesota to and am in Alexandria. It's in the west centeral part of the state and heavily Republican (Bush carried this county 2:1). But as of late I have noticed a very sudden drop in Bush support especially with the older crowd 65+. They have just in the past year swung towards Kerry and at the fair we passed out more stickers than the Republicans. I think the reason why Kerry is going to win Minnesota is because Bush support is going to be so depressed out here in the rural areas.

Posted by: David Trinh at September 6, 2004 09:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David T, I live in rural Minnesota as well....a swing farm county in southwestern Minnesota where Bush won with 49% last time. I am not noticing a groundswell of Bush support here either, and I believe Kerry will do considerably better than Gore did in rural Minnesota (Gore only won 17 of Minnesota's 87 counties in 2000....as opposed to 76 wins for Clinton in 1996). My suspicion is that Kerry will desperately need more votes than Gore got in rural Minnesota because I believe fast-growing suburban Minnesota will produce heftier margins for Bush in 2004 than the narrow victories he pulled off there in 2000.

The three counties to watch in MN this election are Anoka, Dakota and Washington. Bush won all three by one percentage point last time (all three voted for Dukakis and twice for Clinton by wide margins). This time, if Kerry wins any of the three, he'll most likely win the state since that means he's doing well in the urban areas. If Bush wins all three of them by 5,000 votes or more, it's probably trouble for Kerry.

Posted by: Mark at September 6, 2004 10:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment