Monday, November 03, 2008

Minnesota dreamin'

By Michael J.W. Stickings

You gotta hand it to Republicans, some of them, wishful thinking fully on display, are still holding out hope in the face if imminent defeat, if not disaster.

Take my friend Ed Morrissey, for example, one of the brightest of the bunch.

At Hot Air today, Ed gleefully -- yet not without his characteristic sobriety -- points to a new Survey USA poll in his home state of Minnesota showing Obama up by just three points over McCain, 49 to 46.

Bad news for Obama, right, for whom Minnesota should be, and has been seen to be, a lock?

Well, hold on.

There are always outliers among the polls, both national and state, and this one's clearly one of them. The current RCP Average is Obama +9.8. The Star Tribune has him up by 11, Republican-leaning Rasmussen by 12, NBC by 8, and Research 2000 by 15.

And, as Nate Silver notes, Survey USA has had a "huge" Republican lean in Minnesota all year.

There's always that one poll, whether nationally or in a given state, that can be taken out of context and promoted for partisan or simply hopeful purposes as the one that matters. For many on the right, Zogby often supplies the celebration-inducing outlier. This time, it's just a Republican leaner.

The fact is, and as the polls show, Minnesota, which went for Gore in '00 and Kerry in '04, is solidly with Obama in '08.

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