Minnesota Governor Race: Pro-Abortion Dayton Leads Emmer

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 23, 2010   |   6:52PM   |   St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota governor’s race remains a close one as pro-life candidate Tom Emmer and pro-abortion candidate Mark Dayton run within the margin of error. Support for Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, who also backs abortion, appears to be fading.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Minnesota shows Dayton still barely ahead, with 44% support to Emmer’s 41%.

Horner now picks up 10% of the vote while one percent prefer another candidate and four percent remain undecided.

“Earlier this month, Dayton held a 40% to 38% lead over Emmer, with Horner receiving 15% support,” Rasmussen noted.

“In surveys taken since late May, the lead has gone back-and-forth between the two major party candidates, with support for Emmer ranging from 36% to 42% and backing for Dayton in the 35% to 45% range. Horner has captured nine percent (9%) to 15% support in those same surveys,” the polling firm added.

Emmer, a state legislator, draws support from 87% of Republicans in the state while 86 percent of Democrats back Dayton. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, Emmer gets 31% support, Dayton 28% and Horner 27%.

Emmer is viewed favorably by 48% of the state’s voters and unfavorably by 47%, including 22% Very Favorable and 31% Very Unfavorable. For Dayton, favorables total 50% and unfavorables are 47%, with 26% Very Favorable and 34% Very Unfavorable.

Emmer’s political views are seen as mainstream by 42% of Minnesota voters, while 39% believe they are extreme. For Dayton, 46% say mainstream and 44% extreme. Forty-two percent (42%) see Horner’s views as mainstream, 34% as extreme, the poll indicated.

For Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, executive director Scott Fischbach says only Emmer is pro-life and he urges pro-life voters to get to the polls to support him.

“This race is crystal clear — only Tom Emmer supports life and it is more important than ever to re-double our efforts to get Tom Emmer elected,” he told LifeNews.com.

“The number of abortions have dropped 14% while Governor Pawlenty has been in office and with Tom Emmer as Governor that trend can continue,” Fischbach explained. “Both Mark Dayton and Tom Horner are radical supporters of abortion on demand — we have to wore tirelessly to make sure that the babies and the moms are protected by election Tom Emmer as Governor.” [related]

Planned Parenthood has endorsed Dayton while MCCL is behind Emmer.

Current Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty is not seeking re-election and the poll finds his approval rating a 49-49 percent among Minnesota voters.