Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer again in governor's race poll

With one exception in this year's governor's race, DFLer Mark Dayton has outperformed Republican Tom Emmer in every statewide opinion poll.

Sometimes he's led by a single percentage point. Sometimes it's been by as much as nine. But the pattern is there, and it doesn't change with today's new KSTP/SurveyUSA:

  • Mark Dayton (D): 42 percent
  • Tom Emmer (R): 37 percent
  • Tom Horner (I): 14 percent

Dayton's lead is outside the poll's +/- 3.7 percent margin of error, and it represents a 4 percent gain compared to a similar poll a month ago. Emmer's support increased just 1 percent, and Horner dropped from 18 percent to 14 percent.

The poll was conducted right after Gov. Tim Pawlenty reiterated his Emmer endorsement, and follows weeks of vicious television and internet attack ads on all sides.

Read the full results here: Minnesota Men, Moderates Drift Ever-So-Slightly to DFL Dayton, Solidifying His Advantage Over Republican Emmer

All three candidates' camps will surely spin the results today, pointing out that the only poll that really counts is the one on Election Day. And Pawlenty's former spokesman, Brian McClung, pointed out before this latest poll that in three previous election cycles, Democrats led Republicans in the polls three weeks out from the election -- and lost anyway.

Meanwhile, Nate Silver, author of the poll analysis site FiveThirtyEight, is currently predicting a Dayton victory over Emmer, 44.5 percent-39.4 percent, with Horner pulling 13.5 percent.

Nate Silver's FiveThurtyEight analysis currently predicts a Dayton win.
Nate Silver's FiveThurtyEight analysis currently predicts a Dayton win.

Even though Emmer can't seem to get an edge on the topline reading in most of these polls, this contest is still a nail-biter.

Here are the results of statewide polls so far (undecideds make up the balance to reach 100 percent in each hypothetical race):

Rasmussen, Oct. 8

  • Dayton 40 percent
  • Emmer 38 percent
  • Horner 15 percent

MPR/Humphrey Institute, Sept. 29

  • Dayton 38 percent
  • Emmer 27 percent
  • Horner 16 percent

Star Tribune, Sept. 26

  • Dayton 39 percent
  • Emmer 30 percent
  • Horner 18 percent

Rasmussen, Sept. 24

  • Emmer 42 percent
  • Dayton 41 percent
  • Horner 9 percent

KSTP/SurveyUSA, Sept. 15

  • Dayton 38 percent
  • Emmer 36 percent
  • Horner 18 percent

MPR/Humphrey Institute, Aug. 31

  • Dayton 34 percent
  • Emmer 34 percent
  • Horner, 13 percent

The following polls took place before the nominating conventions:

KSTP/SurveyUSA, Aug. 5

  • Dayton 46 percent, Emmer 32 percent, Horner 9 percent
  • Kelliher 39 percent, Emmer 33 percent, Horner 12 percent
  • Entenza 38 percent, Emmer 33 percent, Horner 12 percent

Star Tribune, Aug 1:

  • Dayton 40 percent, Emmer 30 percent, Horner 13 percent
  • Kelliher 38 percent, Emmer 29 percent, Horner 13 percent
  • Entenza 36 percent, Emmer 31 percent, Horner 15 percent

Fox 9/Rasmussen, July 19:

  • Dayton 40 percent, Emmer 36 percent, Horner 10 percent
  • Kelliher 40 percent, Emmer 35 percent, Horner 11 percent
  • Entenza 37 percent, Emmer 36 percent, Horner 12 percent

Decision Resources, June 8:

  • Dayton 40 percent, Emmer 28 percent, Horner 18 percent
  • Kelliher 38 percent, Emmer 28 percent, Horner 17 percent
  • Entenza 34 percent, Emmer 27 percent, Horner 19 percent

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