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Poll: Dayton holds lead over Johnson in governor's race

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A Minnesota Poll from the Star Tribune newspaper finds that incumbent DFL Gov. Mark Dayton holds a double digit lead over Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, his Republican challenger.

The poll of 800 likely voters taken Sept. 8-10 finds that 45 percent of people who identify as likely voters would cast their ballot fro Dayton, while 33 percent favored Johnson. Twenty percent remained undecided. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll showed that Johnson is still an unknown with many voters; at least a third of them did not recognize his name and 40 percent had no opinion of him. Dayton, who has held public office on and off for three decades, has 100 percent name recognition.

The poll found that 46 percent approved of the job that Dayton has done, while 45 percent disapprove. In a Minnesota Poll in February, Dayton had a 58 percent approval rating.

The poll was consistent with the results of a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll that was released in the last week of August. It showed Dayton with 49 percent and Johnson with 40 percent. The poll was conducted among 600 likely voters across the state.

This week the Forum News Service noted that five debates between the two have been scheduled. Although Johnson wanted at least 12 debates, Dayton said he'd agree to six but they could only agree on the five. The debates will be Oct. 1 in Rochester, Oct. 8 in Moorhead, Oct. 14, in Duluth, Oct. 19 in St. Paul, and Oct. 31 in St. Paul.

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