November 01, 2018 10:18 PM
With just over four days until Election Day, Democrat Tim Walz maintains an eight-point lead over Republican Jeff Johnson in the race for governor, according to our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll.
In the poll of 600 "likely voters," Walz leads Johnson 49 percent to 41 percent, with nine percent still undecided and two percent favoring other candidates.
"There's significant undecideds, so this is still a competitive race," Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier said after reviewing the results.
KSTP/SurveyUSA Governor Race Numbers
Tim Walz, DFL, 49 percent
Jeff Johnson, R, 41 percent
Undecided, 9 percent
Margin of error: +/-5.3 percent
The poll was conducted between Oct. 29 to Oct. 31. It included interviews with 1,000 Minnesota adults, 600 of whom said they have already voted or are nearly certain to do so by Election Day. The survey sample includes 37 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans and 25 percent independents.
He also noted the margin of error of +/-5.3 percent could result in a significant shift in results.
The results are very similar to our poll from Sept. 11 when Walz led by seven points - 47 percent to 40 percent.
"The basic dynamics haven't really changed," Schier said.
"There haven't been any sort of bombshell issues or big disclosures about any of the candidates since the last survey that would dramatically shift the race."
Just as in all of our polls this fall, there's a pronounced gender gap.
Walz leads among women 55 percent to 33 percent. Johnson leads among men 50 percent to 41 percent.
"The gender gap is a hardy perennial now in Minnesota politics, and I think President Trump has helped maintain that gender gap," Schier said.
Geographically, Walz leads in the Twin Cities by a margin of 53 percent to 37 percent, but Johnson leads in northeastern Minnesota 51 percent to 37 percent.
The two are tied in southern and western Minnesota, each drawing about 44 percent.
Health care remains the primary issue of concern to voters, followed by jobs and the economy and taxes.
Walz gets 68 percent support from people primarily concerned about health care, while Johnson gets 52 percent support on the "jobs and economy" issue and 73 percent support on taxes.
"I've talked to tens of thousands of Minnesotans in the last few months and feel great about where we stand in the race for governor," Johnson said in a statement on the poll.
"Voters are ready for accountability and a change in culture for state government. The polls all said I was going to lose big in the August primary, but we won by 9 points (outperforming the last poll by 28 points). Based on what I'm hearing on the trail, things look good."
Meanwhile, Walz - who was campaigning in southern Minnesota Thursday - issued his own statement:
"I am heartened that Minnesotans are hearing our message that we can face our toughest challenges as One Minnesota, but there is much work to do," it read.
"We know that Minnesotans listen carefully to the candidates and make up their minds in the final days leading up to the election and we will work tirelessly to earn their support."
Our poll was conducted Oct. 29 to Oct. 31. It included interviews with 1,000 Minnesota adults, 600 of whom said they have already voted or are nearly certain to do so by Election Day.
The survey sample includes 37 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans and 25 percent independents.
Updated: November 01, 2018 10:18 PM
Created: November 01, 2018 03:14 PM
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