A new poll shows Republican Pete Stauber with a massive 15-point lead over Democrat Joe Radinovich in the race for Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District.
According to a New York Times and Sienna College poll, Stauber leads Radinovich 49 percent to 34 percent, marking a drastic surge in the polls for Stauber, who trailed his opponent by one point in September.
The new poll is also good news for President Donald Trump, whom 54 percent of Eighth District voters now view favorably, compared to September numbers that showed 48 percent disapproving of the president’s job performance.
In an article accompanying its poll, The Times acknowledged several of the difficulties it encountered while surveying Eighth District voters, and while the “shift” is “probably not entirely” accurate, there’s “probably more truth to it than a lot of Democrats criticizing the poll want to admit,” writes Nate Cohn.
Cohn attributes the dramatic shift to three different factors, including third-party candidate Ray Sandman, as well as the uptick in “campaigning since early September,” when The Times conducted its first poll of the region.
“This is one of the few districts where Republicans are airing more advertisements than Democrats,” Cohn writes, saying that “evidence of improved Republican standing in conservative areas since early September” offers an additional explanation for the new numbers.
Indeed, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) canceled $1.2 million in ads in the Eighth District, diverting the funds to Minnesota’s First and Second Congressional Districts. The ads backing Radinovich were part of the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program, which initially announced its support of Radinovich after his August primary victory.
Meanwhile, the America First PAC recently announced a $3.1 million investment in Minnesota ads, including ad buys in the Eight District in support of Stauber.
“Minnesota is going to be important to our reelection efforts in 2020,” a spokesperson for the America First PAC said.
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