KSTP/SurveyUSA poll: Walz lead over Jensen shrinks

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With just over four weeks to go until Election Day, Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz maintains a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Dr. Scott Jensen. However, his lead is down significantly from a month ago when Walz led by 18 points.

Our latest KSTP/SurveyUSA poll shows Walz with a 10-point lead, 50% to 40%. Another 4% prefer another candidate and 7% remain undecided.

“There’s some movement in the governor’s race, but Scott Jensen needs more movement and he needs it in the next few weeks if he’s ever to catch Tim Walz,” Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS after analyzing the results.

There is still a big gender gap, although not as pronounced as a month ago. Walz leads by 23 points among women while Jensen leads by 2% among men. A month ago Walz led by 28 points among women and he led by 10 among men.

“There’s usually a gender gap, the question is how big is the gender gap and right now there’s a very big gender gap and it helps Democrats,” Schier says.

Read KSTP’s full Election 2022 coverage

Walz also leads among independents, 46% to 33% while holding on to 94% of Democrats. Jensen gets support from 84% of Republicans, up from 76% last month. Schier says Jensen needs to keep improving his standing among fellow Republicans.

“Ideally you don’t want to be convincing your own partisans to vote for you in the last few weeks of the campaign,” he says. “Those people have to get on board right away if Jensen’s going to have a chance.”

Walz also leads by 20 points in Minneapolis and St. Paul and by 7 points in the suburbs. Jensen leads by 12 points in western Minnesota and by 10 points in northeastern Minnesota.

As for the issue of debates, a big majority of Minnesotans, 85%, say it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” for candidates to debate. Only 13% said it’s “not very important” or “not at all important” to debate.

SurveyUSA interviewed a representative cross-section of 825 Minnesota adults online from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 using a sample provided by Lucid Holdings, LLC of New Orleans.

Of the adults, 707 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 604 were identified by SurveyUSA as being likely to vote in the November 2022 general election and were asked the questions which follow. The pool of adult survey respondents was weighted to U.S. Census targets for gender, age, race, education and home ownership.

The survey in the governor’s race included 37% who identified themselves as Republicans, 36% as Democrats and 24% as independents.

View the full survey results below: