The Minnesota Poll on the 2016 presidential race is out, and its results will be shocking to some. On the Republican side, opinion is split: Marco Rubio leads with 23% and Ted Cruz is second with 21%. But in a general election matchup, Rubio wallops Clinton by nine points, 49-40.
It’s no fluke: 52% of Minnesotans disapprove of Hillary, so she is eminently beatable here. Cruz tops Clinton by two points, which I assume is within the margin of error. Rubio’s wide margin over Clinton reflects the fact that he is carries young voters (18-34) by 46%-38% and runs even among women (44%-45%).
This year, Minnesota will matter in the presidential race for the first time in a long while, as its caucuses are scheduled for March 1. Rubio says he will make a major effort to carry the state, and other candidates presumably will do likewise.
Minnesota’s caucus system is so Byzantine that it is essentially impossible to predict. It rewards narrow commitment, not broad popularity. So I don’t know which Republican candidate will get Minnesota’s delegates. It appears, however, that unless Republicans do something stupid, the state will be in play in November, even assuming that Hillary is not indicted. That is very good news indeed.