Tom Emmer takes an early lead against foes

The freshly Republican-endorsed Tom Emmer has already taken a lead over his DFL and Independence party opponents in the race to the governor's mansion, according to a SurveyUSA poll paid for by KSTP.

In hypothetical races between all three potential DFL candidates, Emmer leads DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher 41 to 33 percent, Mark Dayton 42 to 34 percent and Matt Entenza 42 to 31 percent. Of course it's a long way to the election, so it's difficult to say what these poll results mean.

Noteworthy though is that Emmer appears to be leading the three DFL candidates by roughly the same amount, around 8 to 11 percent. Factor in a 4.1 percent margin of error and we have a virtual tie in the three-way showdown for the DFL primary.

In all three would-be races, Independence Party-favorite Tom Horner just teeters on the brink of double-digits, meaning he will have a lot of votes to shave off from both sides if he plans to win.

Between 15 and 17 percent say they haven't chosen a horse, showing just how crucial these next few months of campaigning will be to the election.

Emmer took some criticism over the weekend for lauding Arizona's controversial new anti-immigration law. If he plans to stay ahead, he's going to have to widen his appeal to more mainstream Minnesota voters moving forward.

The survey polled 588 registered voters.

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