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Obama losing ground in the Gopher state

A new poll shows Barack Obama's Minnesota lead is shrinking.

The Democratic presidential candidate a month ago held a 12-point lead over Republican John McCain. Rasmussen Reports says that has fallen to a 46 percent to 42 percent advantage. Other polls also show the Minnesota race tightening.

The poll shows McCain's strength among fellow Republicans is growing stronger, while Obama's Democratic support dropped slightly.

One of the issues that continues to surface is that apparently Gov. Tim Pawlenty as McCain's running mate would hurt the Republican's candidacy more than it would help in Minnesota.

Rasmussen reports that 34 percent of voters would be less likely to vote for McCain with Pawlenty on the ticket, while 28 percent say they would be more likely to back McCain. One reason McCain is said to be considering Pawlenty is to bring Minnesota and other Upper Midwest votes to his side.

The University of Minnesota's Eric Ostermeier offers an insight into that, saying as the talk increases about Pawlenty joining a John McCain ticket, his Minnesota popularity is shrinking. His popularity rating, as measured by a variety of polls, has fallen from an average of 56 percent to 53 percent. His disapproval ratings have increased from 40 percent to 45 percent.