Walker, Clinton lead in Minnesota- General Looks Like 2004

| Tom Jensen

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.

Paul comes the closest to Clinton, trailing by just a single point at 43/42. Bush (44/42), Huckabee (44/42 also), and Rubio (42/40) all do similarly well, with deficits of only 2 points to Clinton. With the exception of Fiorina who’s down by 11 points at 44/33, all the other GOP hopefuls trail Clinton by 4 or 5 points. It’s 46/42 for Walker, 44/39 for Carson, Cruz, and Trump, and 43/38 for Christie.

We also tested Bernie Sanders in head to heads with some of the leading Republicans- he trails Bush 41/40, but leads Walker 41/40, Rubio 39/37, and Trump 45/37. In some places we’ve found Sanders doing substantially worse than Clinton in match ups against the leading Republicans, but in Minnesota his average performance is only about one point worse than hers.

‘Deez Nuts’ filed as an independent candidate for President recently so for the sake of entertainment we tested him(?) as a candidate in a three way contest with Clinton and Trump. Deez Nuts haven’t had much exposure to the American public- 89% say they have no opinion about them either way. Among those few who are familiar with Deez Nuts, only 3% rate them favorably to 8% who have an unfavorable opinion. Nevertheless 8% say they would support Deez Nuts for President, to 41% for Hillary Clinton and 36% for Donald Trump. When you look at how supporters of Deez Nuts split in a head to head between Clinton and Trump 25% are for Clinton, 15% are for Trump, and 60% are undecided. So Deez Nuts are largely providing an outlet for voters to express their frustration with the other candidates.

Full results here

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