Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #17608
In MN-08, Independents Break Sharply Republican, Give DFL Incumbent Oberstar Tightest Fight of His Career: DFL congressman Jim Oberstar, accustomed to winning with 65% or more of the vote in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, finds himself running even with Republican challenger Chip Cravaack, heading into the final weekend of the campaign, a new SurveyUSA poll conducted for KSTP-TV in Minneapolis shows. Today, it's 47% Oberstar, 46% Cravaack, a result within the survey's theoretical margin of sampling error.

Oberstar holds almost all Democrats, his challenger holds almost all Republicans, but Independents in 2010, as they are doing in congressional districts across the country, break 5:3 Republican. Oberstar has an advantage among women, but the Republican has an offsetting advantage among men. Voters 50 and over favor Oberstar by 10 points; voters under 50 favor Cravaack by 14 points. If younger voters turn out in greater-than-usual numbers in this election, Cravaack will win. Those who rarely vote in midterm elections but who tell SurveyUSA they are certain to vote in this year's contest back the Republican 5:4. Those who vote more frequently are divided. Voters who say they are more enthusiastic about voting in 2010 than they have been in prior years strongly back Cravaack; those less enthusiastic or no more or less enthusiastic than in the past strongly back Oberstar.

Oberstar was first elected to the US House in 1974, when he was endorsed by his retiring DFL predecessor. The seat has been held by the DFL since 1947. Cravaack is a former Navy and Northwest Airline pilot.

Filtering: 800 registered voters from Minnesota's 8th Congressional District were interviewed by SurveyUSA 10/25/10 through 10/28/10, using a blended combination of Random Digit Dial (RDD) sample from Survey Sampling Inc and Registration Based Sample (RBS) from Aristotle. Of the registered voters, 665 were determined by SurveyUSA to have already voted, or to be likely to vote in the 11/02/10 general election for US House of Representatives.
1[Candidate names rotated]
If the election for U.S. House of Representatives, were today, would you vote for ... Republican Chip Cravaack? DFL candidate Jim Oberstar? Or Constitution Party candidate George Burton?
665 Likely VotersAllGenderAge<50 / 50+Party AffiliationIdeologyTea Party MovementVote in Midterms2010 Enthusiasm Vs PriorCollege GradAbortionOwn a Gun?Income
Credibility Interval: ± 3.9 pct pointsMaleFemale18-3435-4950-6465+18-4950+RepublicDemocratIndependConservaModerateLiberalFavorablUnfavoraNeutralNo OpiniRarelyUsuallyAlwaysMoreLessSameYesNoPro-lifePro-choiYesNo< $50K> $50K
Chip Cravaack (R)46%50%41%50%53%42%43%52%42%87%11%56%81%33%10%89%9%51%37%51%44%47%60%34%36%46%46%66%28%49%35%45%47%
Jim Oberstar (DFL)47%43%51%37%38%51%53%38%52%8%84%32%13%62%83%7%87%38%48%38%49%47%35%54%56%48%46%28%66%44%60%48%47%
George Burton (CP)3%3%4%7%5%3%1%6%2%2%2%7%3%3%5%3%2%5%4%8%3%3%2%6%4%3%3%4%3%4%2%4%3%
Composition of Likely Voters100%48%52%11%24%36%29%35%65%28%41%28%36%41%17%30%35%24%10%12%47%41%43%13%44%39%61%49%48%72%25%45%55%