Obama Leading Pawlenty by 11 Points in His Own Back Yard
by Tom Schaller
Minnesota continues to make news this week. Following word from Ohio that Barack Obama's approval numbers have edged down into mere mortal range, a new survey from Public Policy Polling of Minnesotans--those lucky souls now boasting a full contingent of two US senators--shows Obama beating Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty in a potential head-to-head presidential matchup, 51 percent to 40 percent. Obama beat John McCain in Minnesota last year by 10 points, carrying 45 counties.
Speaking of governors in the news, in the same poll Obama bests soon-to-be-former Gov. Sarah Palin in a hypothetical 2012 presidential matchup by an even wider margin, 56 percent to 35 percent. The fuller poll results show that Palin receives lower net approval from Minnesota women (34 percent approving, 56 percent disapproving) than men (44 percent, 49 percent).
The bad news for Obama is that his overall approval in the state has dipped; in fact, his approval/disapproval margin in Minnesota is just half (54 percent to 39 percent, net 15) what it was in April (60 percent to 30 percent). Independents approve of the president by just an 8-point margin, 49 percent to 41 percent. Like many Americans, Minnesotans are growing impatient.
PPP also polled respondents on Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar. She has a solid approval/disapproval margin of 26 points (56 percent approving, 30 disapproving), on the strength of 68 percent to 18 percent edge among self-described moderates.
UPDATE: Our own Ed Kilgore posted some thoughts of his own about this poll over at his home site, The Democratic Strategist. Worth a look.