Nolan leads Cravaack in MN-8 poll

The National Journal reports an independent poll conducted by a Democratic-aligned PAC shows DFL nominee Rick Nolan leading Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8) by three points. The poll memo shows that Cravaack is far better known than Nolan, but that Nolan leads regardless. Though Nolan’s 47-44 lead is well within the poll’s margin of error, it’s a remarkable position for him considering the huge cash advantage Cravaack has and the bruising, not always pleasant DFL primary that Nolan endured to get here.

The poll shows that when respondents are given “positive information” about both candidates, Nolan’s lead increases to 7 points, showing perhaps that he has room to build more support as the campaign wears on.

Nevertheless, the house effect of an internal poll should be considered and an outside sponsored poll would be a welcome addition to this analysis. It does appear that “toss-up” is a fair designation for this race despite the long DFL primary fight.


  1. Interesting. I don’t know if it was this outfit or not, but I was polled for the first time in my life a couple of weeks ago. The area code on caller ID was out of Houston, TX, but that may or may not have been where the call actually came from. The lady reading the questions obviously hadn’t kept up to date on politics. She referred to Nancy Pelosi as Nancy Pelaski, which greatly insults Polish people! She also mispronounced several other names during the call. I figured it was a push poll at first, as they were asking a lot of questions such as “If you found out that Cravaack wanted to cut Medicare, would you be more or less likely to vote for him”. But then there were many similar questions the other way such as “If you knew that Nolan thought Jimmy Carter wasn’t liberal enough, would you be more or less likely to vote for him”. There were a few presidential political questions in there, but the vast majority were about the CD8 race.

    If I remember correctly, KSTP did a poll right before the race in 2010 showing Oberstar’s leading Cravaack by one point, which is about two points off from how it actually turned out. Hopefully they’ll poll this race soon so we get a better idea of where it’s at. They were the only outfit that had the Dayton-Emmer race close as well, as they had Dayton ahead by two when outfits like MPR and the Star Tribune had Dayton up double digits.

  2. Interesting, but its worth noting that Nolan’s lead is not greater than the 4.7% margin of error on this poll. This means that Cravaack could also be leading Nolan 48-44 due to sampling error. Or that Nolan could be leading Cravaack 51-40 due to sampling error.

    I won’t jump to any conclusions yet. The margin of error of this survey is too large to be very helpful.

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