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Jun 8th, 2010

Independent Candidate for Governor Tom Horner Rises in Polling

Tom Horner for Minnesota Governor
Tom Horner (Photo: Horner for Governor)

This morning the Pioneer Press released a public opinion survey conducted by Decision Resources Limited, Minnesota’s most respected polling firm, showing Tom Horner rising significantly in the polls, going from 7% in March to 17-19% today.

In the most likely fall matchup between Independent Tom Horner, Republican Tom Emmer, and Democrat Mark Dayton, the voter choice is 18% Horner, 28% Emmer and 40% Dayton.

According to Horner campaign manager Stephen Imholte, this puts the Horner 2010 campaign significantly ahead of the pace it selected for itself at the beginning of the campaign, the biggest news being that Horner has doubled his standing in the polls since announcing his candidacy in March.

The poll also shows both Emmer and Dayton as falling back or making no gain whatsoever. According to Imholte, that should permanently dispel the reluctance of voters concerned that an IP candidate cannot win a statewide election.

The poll indicates that Horner is receiving support from a near equal number of Republicans and Democrats and that the race will be decided by independents. At 41%, Horner has a commanding lead among Minnesota voters who call themselves independent, with Dayton trailing at 32% and Emmer barely registering at 3%.


Pioneer Press: Vote 2010 Minnesota Governor’s Race

Poll Shows DFLers Ahead of Emmer

By Bill Salisbury
Pioneer Press
June 8, 2010


All three leading Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates for governor hold firm leads over Republican endorsee Tom Emmer, a new statewide poll shows.

Decision Resources Ltd., of Minneapolis, conducted the survey of 800 Minnesota adults May 28-June 2. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. …

Tom Horner, the Independence Party’s endorsed candidate for governor, finished third in all three trial heats, receiving 17 percent to 19 percent of the vote.

Minnesotans apparently think their state is in worse condition than the nation. Fifty-nine percent said Minnesota is “off on the wrong track,” while 48 percent said that of the country.

A whopping 92 percent agreed that “state government spends too much time arguing and not enough time solving problems.” By 53 percent to 42 percent, a majority said they are starting to believe “the problem is not with one political party, but it is with all incumbents.”

Based on those responses, Morris said, “People are fed up with partisan gridlock, and they’re looking for alternatives.” …


6/10/10 Update from the Horner Campaign

Mankato Free Press: Minnesota Republicans “preoccupied” with IP’s Tom Horner

It’s no secret that I admire the work of MFP political reporter Mark Fischenich, not only for his thorough, accurate reporting, but also for his facility with language. His latest Campaign Notebook, “Horner making a stir; Republicans paying attention to Independent candidate” (Mankato Free Press, June 9, 2010), contains this marvel of understatement:

The Minnesota Republican Party this year appears to be a bit more preoccupied with the Independence Party-endorsed candidate than in previous elections for governor.

Fischenich continues:

The state GOP has sent out seven press releases to The Free Press about IP candidate Tom Horner since he officially kicked off his campaign for governor, all of them attacking the former Republican and public relations firm executive. The latest criticize Horner for not releasing his list of clients and for allegedly improperly receiving polling results before they were published. …

As Bluestem Prairie and others noted yesterday, the MNGOP’s complaint about the poll to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board was dismissed because the matter isn’t within the board’s jurisdiction. Moreover, the statute upon which the Republican Party based its complaint was declared unconstitutional by the state supreme court earlier this spring.

At The Cucking Stool yesterday, MNObserver disclosed these facts in “The GOP brain trust strikes again.”

The Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey picks up the story in “GOP complaint against Horner based on law ruled unconstitutional.” …


6/15/10 Update

Horner Cuts Ties with PR Firm

By Baird Helgeson
Star Tribune
June 15, 2010


After weeks of criticism for not revealing his clients, Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner on Monday cut all ties to Himle Horner Inc., the public relations company he cofounded two decades ago.

The move signals the seriousness of Horner’s long-shot campaign for governor and indicates the company’s sometimes controversial — and largely unknown client list — might have become a distraction in his campaign. …

Horner said Monday he will keep one client — the 14 Twin Cities hospitals that are in heated contract talks with area nurses, who last week held the first in what could be a series of one-day strikes. Horner has acted as a communications consultant for the hospitals and on Monday said he will maintain an “open-ended” contract. He would not disclose terms of the contract, but said the work would require only a couple of hours a week. The hospitals will be Horner’s only client, and he pledged to end the relationship if elected governor.

“My complete client list is now disclosed, and that will be my client list for the duration of the campaign,” said Horner, a former Republican. …

In addition to the hospitals, Himle Horner’s clients include the Minnesota Vikings, who are seeking a taxpayer-funded stadium, an issue likely to be among the first the next governor must address.

Himle Horner is one of the state’s largest and most influential public affairs firms, but is privately held, so the dollar value of the company is unknown. Horner did not release the financial details of his separation other than to say he has sold his stock back to the company and cut all professional and financial ties.

He began divesting in 2008, when he sold half of his stake to Todd Rapp, now the company’s president.

Since 1989, the firm built a reputation as a leading public relations and crisis management company in Minnesota. The outfit grew as Horner and cofounder John Himle nurtured deep ties in the GOP.

Republicans were among the first to bash Horner, who has positioned himself as a more moderate conservative than the GOP-endorsed candidate, Rep. Tom Emmer. …

Full story


8/8/10 Update

SurveyUSA Poll: Emmer Losing Badly To Dems For MN-GOV, Mark Dayton Leads DFL Primary

Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer (R)

By Eric Kleefeld
Talking Points Memo
August 6, 2010


Yet another poll of the Minnesota gubernatorial race shows the Democratic candidates ahead of presumptive Republican nominee Tom Emmer — and by some pretty decent margins, too.

The new poll from SurveyUSA shows former U.S. Mark Dayton ahead of Emmer by 46%-32%, with the Independence Party’s Tom Horner at 9% [and 13% undecided]. …

Since June, of course, Emmer has gotten in a lot of trouble over his complaint that waiters were making $100,000 in tips — followed by some comical attempts at damage control. He has also faced attacks for his DWI history, and the CEO of the Target Corporation has now apologized for supporting a pro-Emmer group as a result of his religious-right positions.

Meanwhile, the SurveyUSA poll of the Democratic primary, which will be held this Tuesday, shows Dayton way ahead with 43%, Kelliher at 27%, and Entenza with 22%. The survey of likely primary voters has a ±4.4%.

The funny thing here is that Dayton served one term in the U.S. Senate, during which period he became unpopular and was viewed as an ineffective Senator. In February 2005 he announced his retirement — openly citing problems with his own electability as a factor: “Everything I’ve worked for and everything I believe in depends upon this Senate seat remaining in the Democratic caucus in 2007. I do not believe that I am the best candidate to lead the DFL Party to victory next year.” Time magazine called him one of America’s five “worst Senators” due to erratic personal behavior.

Since then, however, Dayton seems to have rehabilitated his image. One interesting step he took was to discuss his struggles with depression and alcoholism with the media. …


Related reports on this site

Vote Tom Horner Aug. 10 Primary (Aug. 2, 2010)

Horner 2010 Gains Momentum (July 19, 2010)

Horner Campaign at Granite City Parade (June 26, 2010)

Tom Horner’s Statewide Swing (May 12, 2010)

Aubrey Immelman welcomes Tom Horner to St. Cloud for his press conference at Stop Light Bait, May 12, 2010.
Sixth District independent congressional candidate Aubrey Immelman welcomes Tom Horner to St. Cloud for his press conference at Stop Light Bait ahead of Minnesota’s fishing opener, May 12, 2010.

For more information about Tom Horner’s campaign for governor, visit


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — June 8, 2009

Image: U.S. Marines in Camp Leatherneck
U.S. Marines inside Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Monday, June 8, 2009. (Photo credit: David Guttenfelder / AP)

First Wave in Afghanistan Surge

One-year retrospective: One year ago today I reported that some 10,000 Marines had poured into Afghanistan, comprising the first wave of 21,000 additional troops President Barack Obama had ordered to Afghanistan in 2009 to help defeat an increasingly violent Taliban insurgency.

14 Responses to “Tom Horner Rises in Polls”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Tom Horner’s Statewide Swing Says:

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