Mark Dayton's poll numbers have taken a slide over the last four months, but he still looks like a pretty big favorite for reelection against the folks considering a run against him.
In January Dayton's approval was a +14 spread at 53/39. It's dropped a net 12 points since then and now 49% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 47% who disapprove. He hasn't lost much support with Democrats but independents have turned against him to some extent, going from 49/40 approval to 39/54. Republicans have also further hardened against him, going from 14/80 to 8/90.
Nevertheless Dayton still has a double digit lead against every Republican we tested against him. Kurt Daudt trails by 12 points at 51/39, Tom Emmer is down 13 at 52/39, David Hann has a 15 point deficit at 51/36, Dave Thompson is 16 back at 51/35, Julie Rosen trails by 17 at 51/34, and Scott Honour, Jeff Johnson, and Kurt Zellers each trail by 18 at 52/34, 52/34, and 53/35 respectively.
There are a couple different ways to process those numbers. We tested Johnson, Rosen, and Zellers against Dayton in January and he was doing an average of 6 points better against that trio then than he is now. At the same time Dayton defeated Emmer by less than a point in 2010 but leads him by 13 now. The best way to sum up is that Dayton is a good deal stronger than he was when first elected, but somewhat weaker than he was at the start of the year.
Other notes from Minnesota:
-The DFL majority in the legislature is unpopular, with a 36/49 approval spread. But it's faring a whole lot better than the Republican minority, which comes in at 23/59. Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot by a 47/41 margin.
-Minnesotans support raising the minimum wage in the state to $9.50 by a 54/37 spread.
-Voters are not keen on the idea of having any money from the cigarette tax go to pay for the new Vikings Stadium- just 35% support that concept with 53% opposed. Democrats favor it only narrowly (45/42) with Republicans (31/57) and independents (29/60) both in strong opposition.
-Voters support the state allowing Sunday liquor sales by a 62/31 margin and there's a bipartisan consensus on the issue with Democrats (70/25), independents (62/31), and Republicans (53/40) all supportive of it.
Full results here