KSTP/SurveyUSA poll: Biden lead narrows slightly in Minnesota

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a 6-point lead over President Donald Trump in Minnesota, 48% to 42%, according to our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll. Six percent of "likely voters" surveyed remain undecided and 4% prefer other candidates. The poll has a credibility interval (similar to a margin of error) of +/- 5%.

Although Biden retains a lead in Minnesota, it has slipped just a bit since early September. On Sept. 9 his lead was 49% to 40% and on Oct. 10 his lead was 47% to 40%.

"The trend is important," says Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier. "Trump has been improving."

Schier says Biden is likely favored to win Minnesota but remembers what happened to Hillary Clinton’s lead in the state in 2016.

"Four years ago Clinton was ahead by 10 points and ended up winning by 1.5%," Schier says. "Biden is up by 6 points and I think Democrats have to be worried about that."

But Republicans have to worry about Biden’s enormous lead in urban areas, 64% to 28%, and his 48% to 42% lead in suburbs. Trump’s 53% to 36% lead in rural areas of northern, western and southern Minnesota might not be enough to offset the Biden advantage in the metro area.

Biden has also taken a 2-point lead among men, 46% to 44% while his lead among women has shrunk a bit, but remains at 8 points, 49% to 41%.

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"And suburban women are a difficult target for Trump, and he needs to improve amongst them in order to carry the state," Schier says.

Trump is also having trouble closing the deal with voters in his own party. He has 88% support among respondents who identified themselves as Republicans. Biden has 95% support among Democrats. Biden also leads 44% to 31% among independents, but that is down from a 20-point margin two weeks ago.

Schier isn’t convinced the final debate Thursday night will have a major impact on Minnesota or national poll numbers.

"I think you would need a debate blowout by one candidate or another for the numbers to change in a dramatic way," he says. "People have made up their minds about Donald Trump pro and con and that’s the thing that mostly shapes this race."

Our survey was conducted between Oct. 16 and Oct. 20. It included 625 "likely voters," among whom 38% identified themselves as Republicans, 35% as Democrats and 23% independents.

Check out the full survey results below, or click here.