Updated: 06/11/2014 10:39 PM
Created: 06/11/2014 10:37 PM WDIO.com
By: Tom Hauser
With two months to go before primary elections in Minnesota, the GOP primary race for governor is tied at the top.
Jeff Johnson, who won the GOP endorsement at the state convention last month, and Kurt Zellers, the former Speaker of the Minnesota House, each have support of 23 percent of "likely GOP primary voters."
"Jeff Johnson has clearly gotten a nice bump from the Republican-endorsing convention," said Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the U of M Humphrey Institute. "He's now tied with the much better known Kurt Zellers who had been Speaker of the Minnesota House."
However, the numbers suggest this race is wide open with eight weeks to go. Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert is third at 14 percent and businessman Scott Honour is fourth at nine percent, but two other numbers deserve attention. Our poll of 404 likely voters shows 22 percent are undecided and 11 percent prefer someone else. The margin of sampling error is +/- five percent.
That means Seifert or Honour could make up a lot of ground if they appeal to those undecided voters. Jacobs says Seifert might have hurt himself at the GOP convention by attempting to block an endorsement from happening. As for Honour, it's all about a lack of name recognition because he's a political newcomer.
"He's probably going to drop a good bit of money to raise his name recognition and to start getting traction," Jacobs said about Honour. "If he's not able to do that this poll suggests he's not going to be a factor in the primary."
As for the GOP U.S. Senate primary race, it doesn't look nearly as competitive.
Businessman Mike McFadden, who won the GOP endorsement, has a commanding lead over state Representative Jim Abeler. McFadden leads Abeler 44 percent to 16 percent, although 21 percent remain undecided and 19 percent prefer someone else.
But Jacobs says without party endorsement and very little money, Abeler is a decided underdog. "Jim Abeler's effort to run a competitive primary race against Mike McFadden is the longest of long shots," according to Jacobs.
SurveyUSA interviewed 2,200 Minnesota adults between June 5 and June 9. Of the adults, 2,032 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 1,017 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the November general election, while 404 were determined to be likely to vote in the August primary election.
Minnesota has an "open" primary system, meaning anyone can vote in them. So the "likely" primary voters included 56 percent Republicans, 27 percent independents and 15 percent Democrats. The polling included a mix of home phone, cellphone and tablet respondents.
3 Residents Escape Hibbing Apartment Fire
Around 70 emergency responders spent much of their Thanksgiving Day fighting a two-alarm fire at a Hibbing apartment building. Two adults and one child were inside but escaped. They were taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Thousands of Northlanders go to Thanksgiving Buffet at the DECC
The annual Twin Ports Region Thanksgiving Buffet was held at the DECC on Thursday. This is the 25th year of the dinner produced by Twin Ports community volunteers and the College of St. Scholastica. The event served an estimated 65 hundred meals including 13 hundred meals that were delivered around the area.
Shoppers Make Thanksgiving Bargain Hunting New Tradition
More and more Americans are now making gift shopping on Thanksgiving a new holiday tradition, and in Duluth, one retail welcomed shoppers at 7 a.m. on Turkey Day with deals. Experts say 25 million shoppers will hit stores to take advantage of the early deals this Thanksgiving....
One Man Dead After House Fire in Town of Superior
One man is dead after a house fire broke out in the Town of Superior on Thursday morning. It happened around 1:30 a.m. on the 6300 block of South Darrow Road. Crews arrived on the scene to find the lower floor of the two-story house fully engulfed.
Group Aims to Spread the Love to Service Members Overseas
'Tis the season to give and a group of women in northwestern Wisconsin is spreading the love to our service members overseas. They need the public's help to fill 300 boxes before Christmas.