Obama up 7 in Minnesota, Klobuchar up 19, says new poll

Romney's deficit is outside the margin of error, but not by much, according to PPP.
Romney's deficit is outside the margin of error, but not by much, according to PPP.

-- Romney has halved Obama's Minnesota lead since May, says new SurveyUSA poll
-- Pro-Romney group will air misleading 'Janesville' ad in Minnesota [VIDEO]

Barack Obama has a comfortable, if not insurmountable lead over Mitt Romney in Minnesota, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

"In the last three months, President Obama's lead in Minnesota has been cut in half, but he is still a clear favorite to defeat Mitt Romney in the state," says PPP's summary of the poll results. "While Obama led by 15 points (54-39) in PPP's early June survey, he now is ahead only seven (51-44) with likely voters in this fall's election." The poll's margin of error is 3.4 percent.

Both candidates have their bases locked up -- Obama wins 94 percent of the Democratic vote, Romney 92 percent of Republicans. Obama's advantage is with independent voters, who favor him 48 to 39 percent. So if Romney can find a way to chip into Obama's independent-voter advantage between now and November 6, he could turn Minnesota into a contest.

But PPP concludes that while Minnesota's presidential race "might end up closer than it was in 2008... the state doesn't look like a toss up by any stretch of the imagination."

Speaking of non-toss ups, Amy Klobuchar is killing her Republican challenger, Kurt Bills, by a 55-36 margin. Perhaps Bills exercised sound judgment when he decided not to go give up his high school teaching job and campaign full-time this fall -- it looks like he'll need the work after November 6, especially since he isn't running to keep his Minnesota House seat.

In fairness, it doesn't appear any Minnesota Republican would stand much of a chance against Amy K right now. According to PPP, her 57 percent approval rating makes her one of the most popular Senators in the country.

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