Donald Trump may be running the table in national polls these days, but PPP's new Minnesota poll finds that Scott Walker is continuing to hold his own in the Midwest. Walker narrowly leads the GOP field in the state with 19% to 18% for Trump, 15% for Jeb Bush, 11% for Ben Carson, 7% for Ted Cruz, 6% for Mike Huckabee, 5% each for Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, 4% for Chris Christie, and 3% each for Carly Fiorina and John Kasich. Rounding out the GOP field with minimal support are Bobby Jindal at 1%, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum with less than 1%, and Rick Perry with literally no supporters.
Walker's lead in the horse race is narrow, but he has a wide advantage when it comes to which candidates are the most broadly liked by Republican voters in the state. 68% have a favorable opinion of Walker to only 16% with a negative one. That puts him 10 points ahead of the next most popular candidate, which is Rubio at 58/16. Others over 50% are Huckabee at 55/28, Trump at 55/32, Carson at 53/18, and Paul at 51/24.
On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton leads with 50% to 32% for Bernie Sanders, 4% for Martin O'Malley, 3% for Lincoln Chafee, and 2% for Jim Webb. This is the most support we've found for Sanders in any state so far this year. It's not surprising that would come in Minnesota for him- he has tended to do much better with white voters than African Americans or Hispanics, and the Democratic electorate in Minnesota is far whiter than in the country as a whole.
Clinton dominates Sanders with seniors (66/14), women (56/27), and voters identifying themselves as either 'somewhat liberal' (54/29), or moderates (50/27). But Sanders is keeping things pretty competitive with young voters (44/38), men (40/39), and voters identifying themselves as 'very liberal' (46/42).
Barack Obama won Minnesota easily in both of his elections- by 10 points in 2008 and then by 8 points in 2012. Our early general election polling in the state finds things looking more like 2004 when John Kerry beat George W. Bush by 3 points in the state- Hillary Clinton does lead the entire Republican field, but most of the match ups are pretty closely contested.