Good News For Pawlenty, Bad News For Kennedy

Rassmussen has their latest Minnesota polls up. In the governor race, Tim Pawlenty is trouncing Mike Hatch 46-36. Pawlenty has the support of 86% of Republicans, while Hatch only has the support of 68% of Democrats. It appears as though Hatch needs to shore up his base if he wants to have any chance of winning – although I don’t think Hatch has a particularly large chance against a relatively popular incumbant like Pawlenty.

However, Rassmussen also has some bad news for Kennedy, as their latest poll shows Amy Klobuchar getting some real momentum against Kennedy. They have Klobuchar hitting the 50% mark, with Kennedy trailing at 38%.

I have a feeling that gap will close before Election Day, but it’s clear that Mark Kennedy has his work cut out for him. He’s been consistantly down in the polls, and even if the latest Rassmussen poll is a statistical outlier, Klobuchar’s level of support has been strong and steady. Kennedy is going to have to improve his own standings with both Republicans and independent voters before Election Day to have a realistic shot at winning. This will be one of the top races in the country, and it seems likely that both parties are going to be putting a large amount of money into either keeping or taking this open seat in an increasingly competitive state.

2 thoughts on “Good News For Pawlenty, Bad News For Kennedy

  1. Kennedy is getting beat up for that ad trying to say he’s not a shill for Bush. Alienate the base and make moderates think you’re a liar. What a great campaign strategy.

    If Hatch ever starts running a campaign, that one should get a little closer but Hutchinson makes life very diffficult for the DFLer.

  2. “In the governor race, Tim Pawlenty is trouncing Mike Hatch 50-36.”

    The actual Pawlenty lead reported was 46-36. http://rasmussenreports.com/2006/State%20Polls/August%202006/minnesotaGovernor.htm

    “although I don’t think Hatch has a particularly large chance against a relatively popular incumbant like Pawlenty.”

    Just as Klobuchar’s early momentum will give her supporters irrational confidence, Pawlenty’s early leads will do the same for him. Hatch is running a very smart ground campaign, penny-pinching in the early months to save $2 million for a post-Labor Day advertising blitz twice the magnitude of Moe or Humphrey in the previous gubernatorial elections. He’s also saturating border areas in western Minnesota and southeastern Minnesota with yard signs, boosting his name ID in places that get their media from the Dakotas or Wisconsin and thus have little connection to Pawlenty. Expect Hatch to yield outsized margins in these rural swing areas, thus offsetting some of Pawlenty’s inevitable suburban advantage. Assuming Hatch can refrain from picking any more fights with the Star Tribune, his organization suggests we could have a real battle on our hands.

    “I have a feeling that gap will close before Election Day, but it’s clear that Mark Kennedy has his work cut out for him.”

    I expect you’re right….and that the next round of polling is likely to reflect that. Kennedy’s quirky ad involving his family is quite entertaining and should help his early favorable ratings. His repeated claims of “independence from the Republican Party” that he votes with 93% of the time could blow up in his face, however, since it insults the intelligence of swing voters looking for authenticity. Klobuchar has nowhere to go but down in that she’s had nothing but positive press without the reputation of gutteral street fighting that Kennedy earned in 2004. When Kennedy starts airing ads featuring disgruntled former employees of the Hennepin County Attorney’s office telling horror stories about their “bitch boss”, Klobuchar is likely to lose some of her luster. I expect she’ll win, but it’ll probably be a three-point race at best.

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