A Race In Minnesota?

Minnesota hasn’t gone Republican since 1972, when Richard Nixon trounced the inept campaign of George McGovern. It didn’t even get caught up in the 1984 Reagan walloping of Walter Mondale, thus saving Mondale from becoming the only major party Presidential candidate in history to never win a state (Mondale did win the District of Columbia that year). Now, we’ve got a poll suggesting that the race there between Mitt Romney and President Obama is within the margin of error:

Mitt Romney is knocking on the door of adding another state to the mix in the 2012 election, with a new poll in Minnesota showing him within the margin of error.

The new Minneapolis Star Tribune poll, conducted by pollster Mason-Dixon, shows Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44 percent. The same pollster showed Obama leading in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by eight points last month.

This is the first nonpartisan poll to show Romney within the margin of error in Minnesota.

Both sides are now on the air in the state, with Romney’s campaign launching a small ad buy and Obama’s campaign going up with a half-million dollar buy. Obama’s campaign insists, though, that the buy is intended for western Wisconsin, which is in the Twin Cities media market.

A senior Obama adviser, granted anonymity to discuss strategy, said Friday that there is no concern about Minnesota being a problem for the president.

While this may seem surprising, the Cook Report’s Dave Wasserman notes that Obama won Minnesota four years ago by a smaller percentage of the vote than he won  Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, or New Hampshire. Of course, it’s worth noting Obama nonetheless won the Land Of 1,000 Lakes by eleven percentage points over John McCain. Also, I think that the only reason that the Romney campaign is buying ad time in the Twin Cities is because, as noted above, those stations reach over into western Wisconsin, where the race has been competitive for months now.

Minnesota competitive? Someday maybe, but not this year.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Let's Be Free says:

    This, among other recent polling data, is called momentum which is too fundamental for most of the intellectuals who post on this blog to acknowledge as legitimate.

  2. anjin-san says:

    Romney is running ads here to support his momentum meme by showing that he is expanding the map. I’m sure Hannity is very excited about it.

  3. Hal 10000 says:

    Rasmussen’s last has him up by 5 points, St. Cloud by 8. Within the margin error means that it’s about 70% likely that Obama is in the lead. O+3 (+-3) means it’s as statistically likely that Obama leads by 6 than that the race is tied.

    If Minnesota were up for grabs, I would expect a MUCH bigger buyin from Romney.

  4. Hal 10000 says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    It’s called momentum only when you select out polls that have Romney gaining. When you look at all the polls, it’s a different story.

  5. John Peabody says:

    I remember Reagan campaigning in the waning days of 1984. The state was quite indignant over his attempt to get a 50-state-sweep by convincing Minnesota to vote against its favorite son…that last campaign stop was at the Rochester airport, rather than the Twin Cities.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    I bet “Lets be Free” is another of those ironical handles…like “Moderate Mom”.
    Princeton Election Consortium has Obama up by 5 in Minn.
    As for momentum…since just before Ryan-Biden debate Romney has only lost ground in the aggregate.
    There’s a lot of delusion out there.

  7. Carson says:

    @Hal 10000: Have you looked at the Gallup?

  8. Hal 10000 says:

    @Carson:

    Yes. I’ve also see Romney lose four points in Gallup over the last week.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    This, among other recent polling data, is called momentum which is too fundamental for most of the intellectuals who post on this blog to acknowledge as legitimate.

    Clearly, Obama up by 3% is evidence of skewed polling data.

  10. Geek, Esq. says:

    As much a swing state as Arizona.

  11. KariQ says:

    Now, we’ve got a poll suggesting that the race there between Mitt Romney and President Obama is within the margin of error:

    That’ isn’t how margin of error works. It’s not your fault, of course, that the report you quote was written by someone innumerate, but it is just plain wrong. I’ll outsource the explanation to Kevin Drum http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/10/one-last-encore-great-statistical-tie-fallacy

    When was the last time a poll showed Romney leading in Minnesota? When was the last time a poll showed a tie in Minnesota? Never and never. Not a competitive race, then.

  12. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Minnesota competitive? Someday maybe, but not this year.”

    Well, You guys here at OTB and all the haughty, know-it-all Lib cranks that own this place were saying the same thing about the entire election not that long ago: That based on Dem laden swing state polls from MSNBC, CBS, PPP, ABC et al, and 99% probability of Obama winning by Master of Certainty Nate Silver, that Obama had this election wrapped up. God night and good luck; Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Now, at least you are putting up posts that suggests maybe, just maybe, Romney has a shot. Probably good to get a couple of CYA posts up right about now just in case Romney wins. Writing snarky, condescending posts about the “Unskew.Com” guy (who is just trying to make a point about Dem 10%+ polls when Gallup & Pew & Rasmussen are seeing a surge in Rep enthusiasm and intensity) only get you guys so far. Brit Hume said on FNC today that the well respected Politico/Battleground Poll (run by Dem Celinda Lake & Rep Ed Goeas) will show Romney up 5% tomorrow. If true, then Battleground will join Gallup & Rasmussen showing Romney with a solid 3% – 5% lead over Obama. At that point, Lib Koolaid drinkers like Nate Silver, Greg Sargent, et al, will not easily be able to ssay “Well it’s Gallup & Rasmussen over here” and everybody else over there. You may want to GOOG what a Romney 4% – 5% national popular vote win would mean for swing states such as OH, WI, VA and perhaps even MN.

    Lib Koolaid drinkers like Nate Silver, Nate Cohn and left of center bloggers at OTB can continue to point to DailyKOS pollster PPP, Wash Post/ABC with their bogus Dem 10%+ samples, and that weird RAND poll that shows Obama up 5 by interviewing the SAME respondents each time, as your saving grace. But comeuppance day is barely over a week away for all those who claimed Obama had this won that that long ago, and it will not be pretty if Romney wins by the margins the reputable National polls are suggesting as of today.

  13. wr says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Excuse me, but it hasn’t actually been a full year since you were triumphantly proclaiming the crushing victory of President Palin, so I hope you won’t be offended that I don’t take your current prophecies any more seriously.

    And, yes, I know, we Democrats are all cowering in terror of the might that is Mitt and the genius that is Smoovie. You said exactly the same thing a year ago when we were laughing at you and La Palin.

  14. Smooth Jazz says:

    “@Smooth Jazz: Excuse me, but it hasn’t actually been a full year since you were triumphantly proclaiming the crushing victory of President Palin, so I hope you won’t be offended that I don’t take your current prophecies any more seriously.”

    Pardon my french, but you’re FOS. I NEVER SUGGESTED GOV PALIN WAS GOING TO WIN ANYTHING. Provide a link to a post where I suggested Gov Palin would win anything, or you are a liar. Sure, I WANTED Palin to win.Sure, any poll favorable to her I would play up, in part because I felt her enemies were too obsessed and out of countrol. I like her combination of charisma and leadership qualities – And I felt this blog went overboard to bash her personally, in a robo posting manner, day after day, minute after minute often with unflattering photos. This blog couldn’t just disagree with her; They had to denigrate her as a sub human. THAT was my problem at the time.

    Indeed, I felt the posters here, for some reason, had it in for Rep women – And that was my pet peeve at the time. Day after day, post after post denigrating Gov Palin, Christine O’Donnell and other female politicians, but nary a peep on this forum about Dem women whack jobs such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Walters, etc. It was Palin Hate Channel all the time. THAT WAS MY PROBLEM. THE OBSESSION WITH GOV PALIN. It had nothing to do with me thinking she would win anything.

  15. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The “Strib” still is publishing?

    That aside, it’s a bit difficult to envision Romney actually winning MN, but it wouldn’t be all that shocking. Bush in ’00 was within 2.5 points of Gore. Bush in ’04 was within 3.5 points of Kerry. Obama is collapsing everywhere, even in polls that undersample whites, oversample non-whites, oversample women, oversample liberals, and grossly undersample Independents, from whom Romney clearly is winning substantial majorities.