Rasmussen Poll: Dem Mark Dayton Ahead By Two Points In MN-GOV
The numbers: Dayton 40%, Emmer 38%, and 15% for Independence Party nominee Tom Horner. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error.
The TPM Poll Average has Dayton ahead with 38.9%, Emmer at 34.8%, and Horner with 15.2%.
In the previous Rasmussen poll from two weeks ago, Emmer had 42%, Dayton 41%, and Horner 9%.
However, this was in part because Rasmussen at the time used its standard model of asking undecided voters and supporters of third-party candidates a follow-up question, to try to push them into a major-party column. This time, they have stopped doing that -- because in Minnesota, unlike the normal course of things in other states, support for a third-party candidate doesn't necessarily collapse in the voting booth.
As the pollster's analysis explains: "In the Minnesota governor's race, Rasmussen Reports has made a decision not to use our traditional leaners model. Normally, that model shows support falling off for a third-party candidate. However, in Minnesota, third-party candidates often defy that trend, and a look at the initial preference data suggests that may be happening this year."
For more of an apples-to-apples comparison, the poll from two weeks ago before the follow-up question had Emmer leading with 36%, Dayton had 34%, and Horner 18%.