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Trump chips away at Clinton Minnesota advantage

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar1 / 2
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts after speaking at a campaign event at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria2 / 2

ST. PAUL — A new Minnesota Poll shows Donald Trump closing Hillary Clinton's lead in the state, which mirrors national polls showing the presidential race tightening.

The Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll indicates Clinton would receive 44 percent of the vote and Trump 38 percent if the election were held now.

North Dakota native Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate and former New Mexico governor, received 12 percent support, although more than a quarter of those surveyed said they did not know who he is.

Democrat Clinton's strongest support came in the heavily Democratic areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, where she held a 58 percent to 28 percent advantage. However, Republican Trump led 41-37 in the suburbs and 44-38 in greater Minnesota.

Independent voters said they support Trump by 37-28. Women went heavily for Clinton while men tended to favor Trump.

Clinton did better with younger and older voters, while Trump did better with younger baby boomers.

Nearly 90 percent of Clinton and Trump voters said they are not likely to change their minds before the Nov. 8 election.

Fewer than half of those polled said Clinton and Trump were honest and trustworthy.

Voters broke nearly evenly about which candidate would be better with economic issues and gave former Secretary of State Clinton the nod on handing foreign policy.

The poll was conducted last week with 625 registered Minnesota voters interviewed. The poll has a plus or minus 4-percentage point margin of error.

A Reuters-Ipsos States of the Nation poll showed the race across the country narrowing considerably over the past few weeks. Trump would win Florida, a hotly contested state, if the election were held now, the poll showed.

The poll tracks more than 15,000 American voters weekly, and Reuters reports it "could end in a photo finish" as Clinton and Trump are running nearly even in the Electoral College, the entity that ultimately elects the president. It is possible for a candidate to win the national popular vote, but not win the Electoral College.

Reuters says that Pennsylvania has been moved from a likely win for Clinton to a tossup; Ohio has been moved from a tossup to a likely win for Clinton.

The Reuters-Ipsos poll also showed that Clinton's bout with pneumonia a week ago does not appear to have scared away voters.

"Overall," Reuters reported, "Americans appear to be relatively uninspired by their choices for president. ... One out of every five likely voters said they do not support Clinton or Trump for president. In comparison, about one out of every 10 likely voters wouldn't support (President Barack) Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney at a similar point in the 2012 presidential campaign."

Most major national polls show the race tightening, with Clinton holding a lead of 1 or 2 percentage points.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.