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.