The Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll has released the first public poll of Democratic and Republican primary matchups in the Gopher State. It should be noted that the poll, conducted from a sample of 802 adults from September 18-23, has a very large margin of error for the Democratic (MoE = 8.0) and Republican (MoE = 9.0) subgroups. Most public state polls employ a larger sample of interviewees, with a margin of error between 3 and 5 points. Also, the Minnesota Poll was conducted among adults only, not registered or likely primary voters (only a fraction of adults participate in the primary process).

Unlike the very competitive race among the Democrats that is going on south of the border in Iowa, Hillary Clinton (47 percent) has more than double the support of Barack Obama (22 percent), her nearest competitor in Minnesota. John Edwards, who received 27 percent of the open caucus vote in Minnesota back in March 2004, came in third with 16 percent. All other candidates received 2 percent or less with 7 percent undecided.

The Republican race is much more competitive, with Rudy Giuliani leading the way with 27 percent, followed by John McCain (22 percent), and Fred Thompson (16 percent). Mitt Romney, who has been ahead in Iowa polling for several months and who has run television ads in Minnesota, came in fourth at 5 percent. Tom Tancredo (3 percent), Mike Huckabee (2 percent), Ron Paul (2 percent), Duncan Hunter (1 percent), and Sam Brownback (1 percent) rounded out the bottom tier. Eleven percent were undecided.