The last time Minnesota cast its electoral votes for a Republican running for President was 1972. Even Ronald Reagan failed to win the state in both back-to-back landslide elections. It has elected Republicans to the occasional state-wide office, but for President, it is a deep indigo blue. Except, perhaps, this year. A new poll released this morning by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune finds the race essentially tied. Obama holds a slim 3-point lead but, at 47% support, is below the critical 50% threshold.

To be fair, Minnesota wasn’t really part of Obama’s firewall for his reelection hopes. It was more of a redoubt. It was state, like California or Illinois, which would absolutely support Obama’s reelection. That we are even discussing the possible vote in MN, just a little over a week before the election, is a flashing sign of the troubles plaguing Obama’s campaign.

Last month, the newspaper’s poll showed Obama with an 8-point lead. But that 5-point drop in support isn’t the worst news for Obama in the poll. The number of voters identifying themselves as Republican has surged. In last month’s poll, Democrats had a 13-point edge in the sample, 41-28. Today’s poll, however, only gives them a 5-point edge, 38-33. An 8-point swing in one month is extraordinary.

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