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TO: Interested Parties FR: Lincoln Park Strategies RE: Polling Results DATE: March 27, 2012 Our survey of likely 2012 primary election voters1 reveals an extremely close race for the DFL nomination in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. At this time, former Congressman Rick Nolan leads with 19 percent, and both former State Senator Tarryl Clark and Duluth City Council Member Jeff Anderson garnering 16 percent support. With four months remaining before the primary, this race remains wide-open as most voters (49 percent) have yet to decide on which candidate to support. Over the next four months this race will come down to who has the best story to tell and who can make the strongest connections with undecided voters. Our polling shows Councilmember Anderson in a strong position given his background and lifelong connection to the district. Indeed, not only does Anderson currently enjoy a lead in the more populous section of the district2 (21 percent support, followed by Nolan at 17 percent and Clark at 13 percent), after hearing a brief description of each candidate’s background, 29 percent of undecided primary voters would be more likely to support a candidate of Anderson’s background compared to just 5 percent favoring a candidate with Nolan’s background and 3 percent favoring Clark’s. Additionally, Clark could have some problems with her issues of residency as voters start to tune into the race. Not only does our polling show that 83 percent of voters feel it is important for a candidate to reside in the 8th district if they want to run for Congress, a strong majority of respondents (61 percent) say that they would be less likely to support a candidate who moved to the district in order to run for office (including 52 percent of Clark supporters). Regardless of the potential negatives that may arise for Clark it is clear that most voters in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District have not yet focused on this race. As a fourth generation Iron Ranger, veteran, small business owner, and Duluth City Councilmember, Jeff Anderson is in a strong position to win the vast majority of undecided voters. As is the case with every campaign, the outcome of this race will hinge on Anderson’s ability to run a well-organized and well-funded effort. If he is able to raise enough money to get his message out to the voters there is no doubt he will be able to put himself in a strong position to win the DFL primary this August.


1,570 interviews among likely voters were conducted by automated phone calls and the results were down-weighted to 500 respondents to ensure proportional responses. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level is ±2.5. 2 The Northeast includes: Cook, Lake, St. Louis, Carlton, Aitkin, Itasca and Koochiching Counties

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