(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama has the lead in Minnesota according to a new poll released Thursday.
The Illinois Democrat leads rival John McCain by 10 points – 48 percent to 38 percent. In the survey, 10 percent said they were unsure about their choice for president, 3 percent preferred Ralph Nader, and 1 percent chose Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee.
As McCain enters the final stage of his vice presidential selection process, the poll also suggests that picking Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as his running mate might help McCain in the battleground state. Roughly 1 in 5 likely Minnesota voters indicated that they would be more like to vote for McCain with Pawlenty on the GOP ticket, according to an analysis released by the polling director at the University of Minnesota which conducted the survey. The analysis also stated that choosing Pawlenty appears to lift McCain’s support by 13 points.
“If Gov. Pawlenty can shift Minnesota into the Republican column for the first time in 36 years, that will be a significant boost for McCain,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “Adding a blue state like Minnesota basically compensates for the loss of a medium-sized red state from 2004, such as Colorado, Indiana, or Missouri. The numbers in this poll hint at a rare chance for McCain to go on the offensive in terms of the electoral map.”
The Minnesota Public Radio News/ Hamphrey Institute survey of 763 likely Minnesota voters was conducted August 7-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
CNN considers Minnesota a toss-up state. Click here to view CNN's Electoral Map.