Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer but Tom Horner surges in new poll

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Mark Dayton leads the governor's race, but not by much.
Democrat Mark Dayton has the edge over Republican Tom Emmer in the latest statewide poll conducted ahead of the November election for governor.

But his margin is narrow. And Independence Party candidate Tom Horner gained a lot of ground in this KSTP/SurveyUSA poll.

Dayton's 38 percent and Emmer's 36 percent support place the two within the statistical margin of error of 3.9 percent.

The Republicans are characterizing this as a loss for Dayton. And there's no doubt the Democrat is slipping. In August, before the primary election dispatched DFLers Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza, he led Emmer by 14 points. Still, Emmer has yet to lead a statewide poll.

The bigger news may be Horner.

The former Republican who was just endorsed by former GOP Gov. Arne Carlson, and the subject of a glowing Star Tribune editorial last weekend, posted 18 percent support.

That's still a long way off the two leaders. But it's double the support he had in the same August KSTP/SurveyUSA poll that gave Dayton the big lead over Emmer.

Here are the results of previous statewide polls (undecideds make up the balance to reach 100 percent in each hypothetical race):

MPR/Humphrey Institute, Aug. 31

  • Dayton 34 percent, Emmer 34 percent, Horner, 13 percent

KSTP/SurveyUSA, Aug. 5

  • Dayton 46 percent, Emmer 32 percent, Horner 9 percent
  • Kelliher 39 percent, Emmer 33 percent, Horner 12 percent
  • Entenza 38 percent, Emmer 33 percent, Horner 12 percent

Star Tribune, Aug 1:

  • Dayton 40 percent, Emmer 30 percent, Horner 13 percent
  • Kelliher 38 percent, Emmer 29 percent, Horner 13 percent
  • Entenza 36 percent, Emmer 31 percent, Horner 15 percent

Fox 9/Rasmussen, July 19:

  • Dayton 40 percent, Emmer 36 percent, Horner 10 percent
  • Kelliher 40 percent, Emmer 35 percent, Horner 11 percent
  • Entenza 37 percent, Emmer 36 percent, Horner 12 percent

Decision Resources, June 8:

  • Dayton 40 percent, Emmer 28 percent, Horner 18 percent
  • Kelliher 38 percent, Emmer 28 percent, Horner 17 percent
  • Entenza 34 percent, Emmer 27 percent, Horner 19 percent

You can read the full poll results at SurveyUSA here.

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