The Washington Post

Minnesota poll shows Romney within margin of error

Mitt Romney is knocking on the door of adding another state to the mix in the 2012 election, with a new poll in Minnesota showing him within the margin of error.

The new Minneapolis Star Tribune poll, conducted by pollster Mason-Dixon, shows Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44 percent. The same pollster showed Obama leading in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by eight points last month.

This is the first nonpartisan poll to show Romney within the margin of error in Minnesota.

Both sides are now on the air in the state, with Romney's campaign launching a small ad buy and Obama's campaign going up with a half-million dollar buy. Obama's campaign insists, though, that the buy is intended for western Wisconsin, which is in the Twin Cities media market.

A senior Obama adviser, granted anonymity to discuss strategy, said Friday that there is no concern about Minnesota being a problem for the president.

As the Cook Political Report's David Wasserman notes, though, Obama performed worse in Minnesota in 2008 than he did in states generally considered swing states this year.

Minnesota, of course, is the state with the longest streak of voting for Democratic presidential candidates, having been the only one to vote for Walter Mondale in 1984 (along with the District of Columbia). But that was in large part because Mondale was from the state; Minnesotans have elected Republican governors and senators in the intervening years.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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