Clinton heads to Minnesota as poll suggests race tightening
October 30th, 2012
09:49 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton heads to Minnesota as poll suggests race tightening

(CNN) – As President Barack Obama spends the day in Washington dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, one of his top surrogates heads to Minnesota, where the race for the White House has appeared to tighten in the state once considered a safe bet for Democrats.

Former President Bill Clinton will make stops in Minneapolis and Duluth Tuesday to stump on Obama's behalf. The trip was announced Monday, after a poll over the weekend suggested a close race between the president and his GOP rival Mitt Romney.

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That survey, conducted by Mason-Dixon for the Star Tribune, was taken entirely after the final presidential debate. It indicated the president with a three point advantage over Romney among likely Minnesota voters. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would back the president and 44% said they support Romney. Obama's advantage was within the survey's 3.5 percentage point sampling error.

The poll also showed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson with 2% support of likely voters in the state.

Sunday's poll – paired with small ad buys by the Obama and Romney campaigns in Minnesota – suggest a tightening race in a state that turned out overwhelmingly for then-Illinois Sen. Obama in 2008. Obama took 54% of the vote in Minnesota four years ago, compared to 44% that went to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The last Republican presidential candidate to win Minnesota was Richard Nixon in 1972. The state carries a prize of ten electoral votes.

Republican's believe there is some movement in Minnesota toward the GOP while Democrats billed the ad buy as a ploy to generate buzz about a close race that does not exist.

On a conference call Monday, top Obama adviser David Axelrod said the Obama team was "not going to surrender any territory there," but said he was confident of a win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

An earlier poll from St. Cloud State University, taken from October 15-21 and released Friday, indicated Obama with an eight point edge over Romney, 53% to Romney's 45%. Like the Star Tribune poll, the result was within the sampling error.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Minnesota
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. DaveC

    Romney campaigns while Obama is being Presidential and effective during a national crisis. Anyone see the difference?

    October 30, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. gt

    if bill will just think..obama tanks ...hillary will win easy next election...

    October 30, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. Borderless

    Why is Bill the official firefighter for President Hollywood's campaign? Why does he have to go around and put out all these little swing state polling fires? Oh, right. Because unlike President Hollywood, Bill was a good president. (That is if you don't count his affinity for interns.)

    October 30, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Montykoolaid

    I seriously think at this point, just to salvage some shred of dignity and self respect, Romney just wants to at least win the popular vote. He is probably going to lose the electoral college and presidency and knows it, but if he can at least win the popular vote he can go home and and at least say he won that, that America really chose him but he it was stolen by the electoral college, ect ect...

    October 30, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. como1

    DaveC I really noticed the difference on Sept. 12 when Obama left DC and went to Vegas for a fund raiiser before the Ambassador's body was even recovered in Benghazi. NIce try. Obama is tying to fix his image and it is not working. Also on the Jeep Oursourcing to China. The media is again lying to the US. Romney referenced a Bloomberg article on the topic. Romney did not make the claim. However, Fiat/Jeep starting production in China is the first step to downsizing or closing the US Jeep plant. Media bias and lies have you fooled.

    October 30, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. James

    Bill...Stay home and take care buddy

    October 30, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "Why is Bill the official firefighter for President Hollywood's campaign? Why does he have to go around and put out all these little swing state polling fires? Oh, right. Because unlike President Hollywood, Bill was a good president. "

    At least it's not John Sununu making overtly racist comments on behalf of Mittens. Grow up, troglodyte.

    October 30, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Thomas

    It's great to see Bill help out so the President can stay in Washington .

    He is doing his job.

    Do you remember GW Bush , Katrina .

    Is Romney still in Iowa talking with FEMA . FEMA , an agency Romney and Ryan want to discontinue .

    October 30, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. 1twinsfan

    MN is solidly blue. But if Romney buys time in the Twin Cities and Duluth areas, those ads also play in WI.

    October 30, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. SCSU Alumni

    What is going on in MN . . . and at the Star Tribune? I'm worried MN is not just leaning Obama but becoming a swing state!

    As of 10:00 am, Clinton's visit to MN in mere hours is not mentioned anywhere on the Strib's homepage.

    The Star Trbune endorsed Obama on Sat.; however, its front page story on my doorstep on Sunday was about the Mason-Dixon poll showing Romney within the margin of error.

    The St. Cloud State University poll showing Obama up by 8 (with a margin of error of 5) is irrelevant as it was conducted BEFORE the final debate. The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted AFTER the final debate.

    I'm seeing lots of imported-from-Iowa Romney lawn signs popping up in the Twin Cites. The word "Minnesota" (written on cardboard, etc.) is either covering up the word "Iowa" or attached right after it.

    October 30, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. truth1234

    He sighned the Lilly act,Ended the war in Iraq, Brought down Bim Laden and many al quiada leaders, Obama Stopped the 800,00 jobs a month loss and turned it into 33 months of positive job growth, He has a plan to end the 10 year war in Afghanistan in 2014. championed small businesses with over 18 tax cuts. He got the housing market to turn around in 3 years,Reformed walstreet with regulations so a economic crash cant happen like this again. He has kept us out of war,Toppled 2 regimes without putting a single soldier on the ground. This is only half of the things Obama accomplished, when you consider he had congress resist his every agenda for 2 years his Presidency has been amazing.

    October 30, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. truth1234

    Oh and all of this so called debt Obama so called has ran up, trillions of it comes from the fact he stepped into office with 2 unpaid for wars. I honestly cant see how Borderless can call Obama a bad President, thats ridiculous. We so soon forget Goerge W. Bush and the true impact he had on the economy. No Obama did not flash us back into the prosperous times of the 1990's which would have been impossible but he did stabilize a crashed economy, rescued the auto industry, stocks have been high, consumer confidence has returned,Leading economist say that 12 million jobs will be created in the next 4 years. My 401k has been restored to pre crash levels. Im voting Obama/Biden 2012 everything points to the country moving forward.

    October 30, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. rs


    The problem with Romney is that he compromised the integrity of his candidacy with constant lies, and when he elected to invest in China, and put his money into off-shore accounts- and he still won't prove he's paid his taxes.

    You are entitled to your opinion on the President- but the other candidate is just a vacuous corporate raider who will sell America out in a heartbeat- if he can make money off of it.

    October 30, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |

    Bubba and Joe it Willard hard yesterday. It's not a sercret anymore and people aren't biting their tongues anymore. You're being called out for your LIES. Willard, not send your campaign bus to NY, NJ, or CT? We're doing just fine in Virginia. A little bit of flooding. Nothing that we aren't familiar with. We don't need Captain Bain to the rescue.

    October 30, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Minn4Mitt

    Minn for Mitt!!!

    October 30, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. keabar

    Go Obama/Biden!!!

    October 30, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Humm, Cheap shots and a few bucks will buy you a cup of coffe but little else. Clinton is trying to salvage his (Empty) Legacy. The Obama is now reduced to taking cheap shots as nothing else has worked. People still need jobs. Obama Care has killed most new hiring. Clinton it trying (Or not) to bail out the Titanic. Secertly he doesn't give a hoot about Obama getting re-elected. Maybe the people in Minnesota don't either.

    October 30, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. George

    These people want to go backward and get rid of the coal industry, increase out electric rates, and keep our people in poverty to control them and their Constitutional rights and freedoms and give us over to U.N. global treaties and get rid of our guns, control our free speech with the internet and otherwise, take our freedom of religion away and only radical muslims will have it as well as taxes on them and an oil rig tax on all our oil rigs. All to have a one world govornment of wicked people but look to God , the Lord who died for our sins and rose from the dead and went back to heaven and pray and vote these marxists out of office. Sincerely ;

    October 30, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. mjietu

    Obama will win second term Americans are not that silly to think 8 years of GOP havoc to be rectified by 4 years, US is a giant country to be fixed in short period of time, I think Bain guy knows this and that is why he is dishing out lies after lies just to win but not this time master hood winker.

    October 30, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Dave Jaipersaud

    Romney and the Republicans would let the States fend for themselves. The Republican agenda is everyone is for themselves and to hell with everyone else. That is not the American way and we MUST not fall for what the Republicans are selling. Remember the last time we bought what they were selling? It was not that long ago. And remember what happened? We almost lost everything. We MUST never forget. DO NOT BUY WHAT THEY ARE SELLING.

    October 30, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. truth1234

    Romney does indeed compromise his integrity through his lies, He is running a ad in Ohio now saying Chrysler is moving there jeep line and Ohio jobs to China and blaming Obama, This is a bold faced lie, even Chrysler has said it is not true. Yet still they continue to spread the lie. We have to learn from history and our mistakes of the past, Goerge W. lied about weapons of Maas. destruction and you see the devestation that caused. A liar plus the Presidency does not mix.

    October 30, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |