New poll shows Obama with big Minnesota lead

A poll of four battleground states by Quinnipiac University, the Wall Street Journal and the Washingtonpost.com raises real questions about whether Minnesota even deserves to be in the “battleground” category in the race for president.

The poll of voters in Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota shows Obama leading in all four states. But in Minnesota he tops John McCain by a blowout margin of 54-37.

Obama also has a big lead in Wisconsin 52-39.

The margins are closer in the other two states.

But as positive as the Minnesota poll results are for the Obama campaign, they contain troubling news for supporters of DFL U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken.

The poll shows Republican Sen. Norm Coleman leading Franken 51-41. And Coleman’s lead is even bigger among independent voters 55-35.

“Sen. Obama sweeps nearly every demographic group in Minnesota, including whites and blue collar workers, to lead by 17 points, the biggest lead in the four states surveyed. At the same time, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, with overwhelming support among men and a tie among women, has a 10-point overall lead over comedian Al Franken, the Democratic challenger,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

And the poll also raises questions about the value of Gov. Tim Pawlenty as a McCain running mate.

“Most voters say it would not make any difference in their vote if Gov. Tim Pawlenty is McCain’s running mate,” Richards added.