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Poll: Smith Holds Lead in US Senate Race, 11 Percent Undecided

Eric Chaloux, KSTP-TV
Created: September 13, 2018 11:16 AM

The airwaves are starting to fill up with campaign ads between the DFL’s Tina Smith, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by the governor, and Republican state Sen. Karin Housley.

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A KSTP/SurveyUSA survey poll of Minnesotans statewide regarding the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Democrat Al Franken. The candidate elected will hold the seat for the two remaining years of the term.

The poll found Smith had a 9-point lead over Housley, 48 percent to 39 percent, with 11 percent of those who responded saying they were undecided ahead of the November election. Two percent chose "other."

The margin of error was +/- 4.9 percent.

"This survey essentially confirms the conventional wisdom about this race so far that it's competitive," said Kathryn Pearson, political science professor at the University of Minnesota.

Smith’s Strengths

Smith holds 93 percent of the Democratic base; Moderates break 5:3 for Smith, which accounts for much of her lead according to the survey.  

In the Twin Cities area, Smith has a 20-point lead.

"These numbers suggest she has a lot of enthusiasm among the DFL base in the Twin Cities area, that she's made inroads with moderate voters as well," said Pearson.

Housley’s Strengths

Housley holds 84 percent of the Republican base. Housley leads Smith by 17 points in southern Minnesota and by 10 in northeastern Minnesota based on the data.

"Housley is doing much better in greater Minnesota, the same areas where President Trump did very well in 2016, including areas where Obama won in 2012," Pearson said.

Here are the survey results:

Asked of 574 likely voters - Credibility Interval for this question = ± 4.9 percentage points

Minnesota will also elect one United States Senator to fill the two years remaining in the seat previously held by Al Franken. If the election for United States Senator were today, and you were filling out your ballot right now, who would you vote for?

39% Karin Housley (R)
48% Tina Smith (DFL)
2% Other
11% Undecided

Klobuchar holds wider lead over Newberger

The survey also asked Minnesotans about the other U.S. Senate race. Democrat Amy Klobuchar is leading Republican Jim Newberger 53 to 38 percent. The remainder of those who replied were undecided voters or selected "other." The margin of error was +/- 4.9 percent.

Here are the survey results:

Asked of 574 likely voters - Credibility Interval for this question = ± 4.9 percentage points

Minnesota will also elect one United States Senator to a six-year term. If the election for United States Senator were today, and you were filling out your ballot right now, who would you vote for?

38% Jim Newberger (R)
53% Amy Klobuchar (DFL)
2% Other
8% Undecided

SurveyUSA interviewed 1,050 Minnesota adults and identified 574 "likely voters." The poll results are based on the likely voters. The poll was conducted statewide from September 6-8th. The research was conducted online.
 

Credits

Eric Chaloux, KSTP-TV

Copyright 2018 KSTP-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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