Minnesota Public Radio/Humphrey Institute (8/25-29, likely voters, 5/13-16 in parens):
Mark Dayton (D): 34 (35)
Tom Emmer (R): 34 (31)
Tom Horner (IP): 13 (9)
One red flag from this poll is its sample composition — it pegs the Minnesota midterm electorate at 46% Republican, 41% Democratic, and 13% independent. An early August poll by SurveyUSA had a partisan composition of 36D-32R-28I, and showed Dayton leading by 46-32. Indeed, Dayton has been leading in the last five polls of the race, the last three of which by margins varying between 9 and 14 points — and that includes Rasmussen. So I’m not convinced by this poll’s top lines, especially considering the pounding that Emmer’s been taking on the airwaves in the past two weeks.
That’s not to say that Dayton is incapable of fumbling this one — it’s just that most of the evidence suggests that he has yet to do so.