The major difference between 2002 and 2004 was in Washington County where Kennedy who won the county by nearly 15 pts in 2002 gained very few votes, while Wetterling made the county even (50-50) in 2004.
The CD poll shows Wetterling winning the county 52-46. Who knows why Wetterling did so well in Washington Co. in 2004. Perhaps she appealed to suburban women who sympathized with her son. Some may have occurred merely because Wetterling was a woman. I think these differences will carry less weight in this election as Wetterling’s sympathy factor has diminished as here experience in Politics lengthens
In both 2002 Kennedy carried Anoka County by 2 points and in 2004 carried it by 6 points (along with Bush). However the CD poll shows Wetterling winning by 14 points in Anoka County. Do votes swing that much in 2 years?
The poll also shows that the respondents breaking out as 37% republicans, 36% democrats and 28% independents in the district (which voted Bush 57-42 in 2004 and Kennedy 54-46. (The 3% is obviously the Wetterling factor).
It is obvious that the CD poll both assumes the record 2004 turnout for democrats and assumes that enough discontent as occurred to switch enough of the independent votes. It is hard to imagine democrats getting both.