The final KSTP-SurveyUSA poll isn’t good news for Mark Dayton. To be fair, it isn’t all roses for Tom Emmer either but I’d rather be in Tom’s position for a number of reasons. First, let’s look at the poll’s findings:

Released Thursday, the poll results show Dayton with a razor-thin, one-point lead of 39 to 38 percent. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner sits at 13 percent.

The horserace numbers don’t look so bad for Sen. Dayton. That’s the only solace he’ll find in the poll, though. In looking at the crosstabs, though, there’s trouble to be found for Sen. Dayton.

The fact that he isn’t getting the gender gap he needs with women indicates that the TEA Party has created a new conservative group of women. That isn’t good news for Sen. Dayton because TEA Party women are energized to an extent that other women aren’t.

That’s why the percentage of likely voters in the 35-49 age group is the biggest demographic group in the poll, totally obliterating the advantage Dayton has with seniors.

Dayton has a substantial lead with seniors but they comprise 18 percent of likely voters whereas the 35-49 cohort comprises 35 percent of likely voters.

Emmer has a 7 point lead with the 35-49 cohort. He also has a 3 point lead with the 18-35 age group. According to the KSTP-SUSA poll, the young comprise 23 percent of those likely to vote. That’s an oddity in that they make up a bigger percentage of likely voters than seniors. That tracks with what I’m seeing.

Young people are as energized this year as any year other than 2008. This time, though, they’re energized because they’re seeing President Obama pile debt on their heads. They’re activated by a new type of candidate, the type of candidate that Tom Emmer is.

At the U of M debate, Mark Dayton and Tom Horner were in full pander mode, promising the U’s administrators the sky in terms of funding. They got polite applause at most, if not worse.

Then Tom Emmer got up, scolded Horner and Dayton for making promises that they didn’t have funding to make before telling the audience that Minnesota taxpayers were paying for too many administrators. He said that the universities needed to start living within their means so that tuitions could stabilize.

The crowd erupted with the biggest applause of the debate.

The kids and the moms get it. They’re driving this election. That’s gotta scare the Dayton people. The fact that they aren’t winning young voters by a large margin is worrisome at minimum. The fact that Tom’s winning them and that they’re energized to vote tells me that they’ll be a major factor in deciding this election.

The bottom line is this: the horserace numbers are the only good news for Sen. Dayton.

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6 Responses to “KSTP Poll: Dayton’s Slight Lead Doesn’t Tell the REAL STORY”

  • J. Ewing says:

    I don’t believe Tom Horner is going to get 23% of the vote, so most of those “undecideds” are going to break for the “change candidate.” Normally that would be someone from the party opposite Pawlenty, but this year that would seem to be somebody from the party opposite Obama, somebody different from the other two, different from Pawlenty, and with a proposal different from the same old, same old. Now all we have to do is turn people out to vote for Emmer.

  • MplsSteve says:

    No disrespect to senior citizens but I know they get the warm and fuzzies everytime they think of or see Mark Dayton on TV.

    Other than his prescription buses to Canada, I can’t really think of much else that Dayton has done to endear himself so strongly to seniors.

    They will crawl over broken glass on Tuesday to vote for Dayton. I certainly hope the 18-49 bracket is as motivated. We’ll need every bit of them to offset the seniors, labor boys and inner-city DFL drones.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Steve, from everything that I’m seeing, from the spirit of the CR’s to the determination of the TEA Party moms to the small businessmen & women worried that they’ll get taxed into oblivion, oh yeah, there’s plenty of motivation for our people to turn out. We’ll still keep working but the fire in the belly is there.

  • M. Groetken says:

    Mark Dayton is DEFINITELY NOT getting this baby boomer/senior citizen’s vote! Not my husband’s either. In fact he is not getting any of our boomer/senior friends’ votes either. We are all Emmer fans. He is the only one with the correct message.

  • J. Ewing says:

    I understand the senior vote for Dayton, having run into one of them at the county fair. A very elderly gentleman, I believe he said he was 86 years old, said that he was a long-time Republican but that he would be voting for Dayton. Why? “Because his grandfather gave my mother a job when she needed one.” It’s too bad common sense and business acumen aren’t inherited like the family name is. But there’s probably a good reason young Mark never got a seat on the Board of Directors.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Great insight, Jerry. I think it’s because he’s an anti-capitalist. It’s nothing more complicated than that.

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