Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Senator Klobuchar far ahead of Bills in Minnesota

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It looks like President Obama is not the only one who has Minnesota “in the bag.” DLFer Senator Amy Klobuchar currently has a 29 point lead in Minnesota on her opponent, Republican Kurt Bills. Klobuchar has a 40% lead in Democratic urban areas such as Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. She has also garnered the support of 57% of the electorate, a whopping 93% of the DFLers, 62% of Minnesotan women voters, and about half of the male voters. Bills slacks in comparison only drawing 28% of the Minnesotan population with the other 7% voting for someone else and the remaining 8% undecided. Bills, who used Ron Paul’ support to clinch the party nomination, has 66% of Minnesotan Republican’s support.

These numbers came from a poll of 800 likely voters between Sept. 17 and 19, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling for the Star Tribune. While Klobuchar’s campaign manager agreed with the polls saying “the numbers reflect her record,” Bills campaign manager disagrees. He claims the poll was unbalanced, with only 28% of the 800 likely voters being Republicans. Forty-one percent of the poll was Democratic, while the other 31% is independent. The independent voters could be an asset to Bills, however, interviews revealed even some of those who will vote for Romney on Nov. 6 are leaning heavily towards Klobuchar.

This is Bills first statewide race and it happens to be against a woman with over a decade of public service and political experience. Klobuchar also has 60% approval rating for her first term as senator, one of the highest individual approval ratings within the Senate. Bills biggest challenge has been to simply to break through to Minnesotans and get the name recognition and funding needed to remain competitive in the race.

Strangely, this race has not received nearly as much attention as it’s multi-million dollar predecessor in 2008. The race may currently be lost in all the presidential hustle and bustle, so it will be interesting to see whether or not it will catch Minnesotans eye in the next couple of weeks as Klobuchar unleashes a six-figure, statewide television ad campaign with Bills soon to follow.

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