Questions Aside, Dayton Leads Two Recent Polls


Questions about political poll accuracy are increasing this campaign season, but a couple of recent ones were good news for Minnesota Democratic governor candidate Mark Dayton.

Still, Dayton said: “We always thought it would be close.”

The University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute-Minnesota Public Radio poll released at mid week showed Dayton leading Republican Tom Emmer 38 percent to 27 percent, with Tom Horner of the Independence Party trailing with 16 percent. The rest have yet to decide.

A month ago, the same poll showed Emmer and Dayton tied.

The Minnesota Poll by the Star Tribune showed a 39-30 Dayton lead. But other polls show the race much closer, perhaps even a tie.

Part of the problem is that a number of issues are making poll results more questionable. For one, some polls try to contact those who use mobile telephones as their only phone, other polls ignore them and some try to guess how they would vote. Also, pollsters say more people refuse to answer questions, or at least may not tell their true feelings.

And some polls are conducted by computer, with no human interaction, which could lead to inaccurate results.

Polls appear to be saying that Horner draws more people from Emmer than from Dayton, logical since Horner used to be a Republican.

Some data are in conflict.

The Star Tribune poll shows Emmer and Dayton tied outside of the Twin Cities. In the university poll, swing voters such as populate much of rural Minnesota appear to heavily lean toward Dayton. While none of the three is considered a strong leader, the poll shows voters think Dayton cares about them and has the right temperament to be governor.