Dump Bachmann points out a new poll, this one by Survey USA. It doesn't look pretty:
Bachmann Holds MN6 House seat for GOP: In an election in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District today, 9/18/05, Republican Michele Bachmann edges DFL Candidate Patty Wetterling, 50% to 41%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KSTP-TV Minneapolis. Independence Party candidate John Binkowski gets 5%. Bachmann gets 89% of Republican votes. Wetterling gets 85% of Democrat votes. Independents split. Bachmann leads by 19 points among men. Wetterling leads by 3 points among women. Bachmann's lead comes entirely from voters under age 50. Voters age 50+ split evenly. Bachmann leads by 70 points among conservatives. Wetterling leads by 62 points among liberals and by 19 points among moderates. Of those who approve of President George W. Bush's job performance, 87% choose Bachmann. Of those who disapprove of Bush's job performance, 77% choose Wetterling. President Bush's job approval among likely voters in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District is 46%. Incumbent 3-term Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is running for the U.S. Senate this year. The House seat is open. Wetterling lost to Kennedy by 8 points in 2004. The election is on 11/7/06.
The margin of error on this poll was +/- 3.9%, so the 9-point differential is almost within the margin of error. 3% also remain undecided. Overall, though, one can't argue with the trend so far in the two polls: Patty Wetterling is playing catch-up.
The poll appears to show that Bachmann has more support among Republicans than Wetterling does among Democrats. More surprising is the fact that, while 77% of those who disapprove of President Bush support Wetterling, a full 15% support Bachmann.
The crosstabs on this are not all that useful. They don't show voter confidence in their choice or differentiate between "leaners" and "solid" voters. Some of the crosstabs are suspect; for instance, I don't believe that 56% of my generation (Gen Y) would support Bachmann. Young people tend to vote Democratic, and we are much more moderate on social issues than Bachmann is. Anecdotally, most of the people I knew at my high school (those who were into politics) were virulently anti-Bachmann. This was in Stillwater, Michele's home turf. A lot of us will be voting in the Sixth District even if we attend college somewhere else, and college students at St. Cloud, St. John's/St. Ben's and elsewhere will be an important voting bloc that may be underrepresented in this poll. I suspect that the Gen Y-ers polled were not representative of my generation.
It appears that potential spoiler John Binkowski is drawing equally (4%) from the Republican and Democratic camps, but he is siphoning off independents (10%) that would otherwise probably break for Wetterling. Who knows-- if Binkowski remains a longshot candidate in the polls and does not inspire more support in the debate, the "anti-Bachmann" contingent among the independents may decide to bolt for Wetterling. We'll see what happens in the debates, but at this point Binkowski is nothing more than a spoiler.
Another qualifier on this poll: there are still almost 2 months before election day. Most people have not tuned into this race yet. Ads just began running. There are debates and controversies that will change this race. Anyone who says this race is over is dead wrong. None of the campaigns are throwing in the towel, and neither will this blog.