An MPR poll out finds the governor's race between Dayton and Emmer is neck and neck. They're tied with 34% of the vote and Tom Horner is a distant third with 13%.
A previous Rasmussen Poll done nearly three weeks ago had Dayton up 45% to 36% over Emmer.
This poll suggests the election is anything but a done deal. A couple of observations. One is Republicans were probably right in thinking that Dayton was the best candidate for them to run against. Dayton's fringe position on taxes, to the left of Kelliher and Entenza, make him a big target especially when people are very nervous about the economy and their own jobs. They don't want to hear talk of taxes going up.
Second, Horner is really out of the running in terms of actually having a chance of being elected. The question is who will Horner be a spoiler for. This poll says at this point he's pulling more Democrats from Dayton than Republicans from Emmer. While it's hard to say what the end result will be, he's definitely positioned himself to the left in terms of taxes and social issues. He's calling for $2.2 million in new taxes and is pro-homosexual marriage and pro-abortion according to a past MPR story. That would suggest he'll continue to take more votes from Dayton.
If people view Emmer and Dayton as extreme opposites, which one will they vote for. Given our state of affairs, I don't think people want a massive increase in government and taxes. That should help Emmer. As for looking at Horner, I don't see him having a shot at winning. He's a creature of the political establishment and does not generate an image or communicate as an outsider. Horner is a policy wonk and that comes through when he communicates.