September 25, 2018 10:29 PM
For the second election in a row, the 2nd Congressional District will likely be too close to call right up until Election Day, according to our new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll. Democrat Angie Craig leads Republican incumbent Jason Lewis 48 percent to 45 percent, with another seven percent undecided. The poll of 569 "likely voters" has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.
"The second congressional district with Angie Craig and Jason Lewis is a toss-up," says Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute. "We knew this race was going to be close."
Just as in 2016, there's a big gender gap in the support for the two candidates. Craig has a big lead among female "likely voters," 52 percent to 40 percent. Lewis leads among men 49 percent to 43 percent. Another seven percent are undecided among both men and women.
"This is going to be a real challenge for Jason Lewis," Jacobs said. "He's gotta cut down on some of that advantage that Angie Craig has among women or to expand his support among men."
A big question looming over this race and many other congressional races will be about the impact of Republican President Donald Trump. His approval rating in the 2nd District is just 41 percent, with 54 percent disapproving. Only five percent are not sure. Lewis is doing slightly better than Trump with a 42 percent approval rating, but his disapproval of 40 percent is much better.
Jacobs says the race could hinge on how Lewis navigates his relationship to President Trump.
"The question is going to be can Jason Lewis separate himself from a very unpopular Donald Trump," Jacobs told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS after reviewing the poll numbers. "If he can, he'll have a stronger shot at holding this seat."
Lewis will also have to do a better job appealing to independents, who currently favor Craig 49 percent to 39 percent.
The two candidates will also have to do their best to appeal to voters on the health care issue. It was cited by 36 percent of "likely voters" as the most important issue, far ahead of jobs/economy, terrorism/national security and taxes.
Our poll was conducted September 17-23 and included 569 people deemed to be "likely voters." The sample includes 31 percent Republicans, 32 percent Democrats and 34 percent Independents.
By comparison, in a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll in October 2016, Craig led Lewis 46 percent to 41 percent. Lewis went on to win by less than two percentage points.
Updated: September 25, 2018 10:29 PM
Created: September 25, 2018 06:58 PM
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