One of the most high profile and competitive U.S. House races in the country appears to be going down to the wire – according to a new SurveyUSA poll of 643 likely voters in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.
The new poll, conducted October 26-27, finds Republican Erik Paulsen with a statistically insignificant 45 to 44 percent lead over DFL-er Ashwin Madia. David Dillon of the Independence Party registers at 9 percent.
SurveyUSA has been in the field three times in the Third District, and has shown little movement in the race. In its poll conducted three weeks ago, Madia led Paulsen 46 to 43 percent, with Dillon at 8 percent. It late August, Paulsen had a 44 to 41 percent lead over Madia (Dillon had not yet won the IP primary and was not listed in the survey question).
Dillon has attracted more Democrats than Republicans in both the early October (7 percent to 5 percent) and late October (10 percent to 4 percent) surveys. This helps to explain why Madia has not pulled ahead in a district that SurveyUSA finds has slightly more self-identified Democrats (34 percent) than Republicans (32 percent) and Madia leading Paulsen among independents, 43 to 39 percent. SurveyUSA also gave Democrats a two-point advantage (35 to 33 percent) in party identification earlier this month. Independents comprise approximately 30 percent of likely voters in the district.
While many experts are projecting support to peel away from Dillon (and Dean Barkley in the U.S. Senate race) at the last minute, benefiting the DFL candidates in each race, Smart Politics projects the core 10 percent supporting Dillon (and 15+ percent backing Barkley) are largely so frustrated with both major parties, and the negative campaigning its nominees have run in particular, that their support will hold steady. As a result, it is unlikely any candidate will eclipse 50 percent.