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New Minn. Primary Poll: Klobuchar Leads

Senator heads Democratic pack in home state, trails in 2 others

Election 2020 graphic with outline of state imposed on background image of capital building

02/20/2020

Contact: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 (o), 978-758-4664 (c), or Christine_Gillette@uml.edu or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has the most support among likely voters in the Democratic primary race in her home state of Minnesota, according to a new poll released today. 

Klobuchar has the support of 27 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, ahead of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has 21 percent, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 16 percent. They are the only three candidates above the 15 percent threshold to receive delegates in the Minnesota primary, according to the independent, nonpartisan poll.

The top three are followed by former mayors Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent and Michael Bloomberg, who is tied with former Vice President Joe Biden at 9 percent. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has 4 percent and businessman Tom Steyer registered less than 1 percent support; 4 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

Detailed poll results – including analysis, topline and methodology – are available at www.uml.edu/polls. The nonpartisan poll is independently funded by the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, which conducts public-opinion polling at the state and national levels. The internationally recognized center uses the latest technology and highest standards in its surveys and is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative. The center’s events and polls on political and social issues provide unique opportunities for civic engagement, experiential learning and research.  

With Minnesota’s Super Tuesday primary less than two weeks away, the poll found that 62 percent of likely voters are firm in their choice of candidate while 38 percent say they could change their mind before March 3. Sanders’ base appears to be the most solid, with 85 percent of his supporters saying they will definitely vote for him. This is 18 points higher than the vote certainty for Klobuchar; 67 percent of her supporters say they will definitely vote for her. This suggests, according to the Center for Public Opinion, that a lot is still riding on the momentum out of the Nevada caucus and South Carolina primary for Klobuchar and Sanders, as other candidates may still have an opportunity to close the gap in the final campaign push. 
     
“Look for a possible late surge in Minnesota from Amy Klobuchar or possibly Elizabeth Warren if any of the other candidates fade. Klobuchar and Warren have the best and second-best favorability advantage among the candidates. Klobuchar leads among people’s second-choice options, which probably gives her an edge if she can maintain momentum,” said John Cluverius, associate director of the Center for Public Opinion and assistant professor of political science.

The poll also asked likely voters in the Minnesota Democratic primary which candidate will ultimately win the party’s nomination. Thirty-four percent said Sanders, followed by Bloomberg at 12 percent and Klobuchar and Biden tied for third with 7 percent. However, 31 percent of voters surveyed said they are unsure.

Likely voters were also asked whether they view the candidates favorably or unfavorably. Klobuchar had the highest net favorability rating of +60, followed by Warren with a net +52 favorability, Sanders with a net +35 favorability rating, Biden with a net +26 favorability rating and Bloomberg has a net +9 favorability rating with 23 percent of those polled saying they have no opinion or have never heard of him. Likely voters also gave former President Barack Obama a +83 net favorability rating and President Trump a -89 net favorability rating.

The poll of 450 likely voters in the Minnesota Democratic primary was independently funded by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which has hundreds of students and alumni who hail from the North Star State. The survey was designed and analyzed by the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and fielded by YouGov from Feb. 12 through Feb. 19. It has an adjusted margin of error of plus or minus 6.4 percent. Full poll methodology is available at www.uml.edu/polls.


In addition to the survey of likely voters in Minnesota, the Center for Public Opinion also released polls in two other Super Tuesday states. The findings include:
  • In North Carolina, Sanders is ahead among likely voters with 23 percent, followed by Bloomberg at 19 percent, Biden at 16 percent, Warren at 13 percent, Buttigieg at 10 percent, Klobuchar at 7 percent and Gabbard and Steyer tied at 3 percent; 6 percent are undecided. (Poll of 450 likely voters in North Carolina Democratic primary conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 18 with an adjusted margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percent.)
  • In Texas, Sanders has the edge with likely voters with 23 percent, followed by Biden at 20 percent, Bloomberg at 18 percent, Warren at 14 percent, Klobuchar at 9 percent, Buttigieg at 7 percent, Gabbard at 4 percent and Steyer at 2 percent, with 3 percent undecided. (Poll of 600 likely voters in Texas Democratic primary conducted Feb. 12 through Feb. 18 with an adjusted margin of error of plus or minus 5.9 percent.)
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