Poll: Franken Up, but Well Under 50 Percent

by Andrew Johnson

Minnesota’s Senate race isn’t one of the best chances for Republicans to pick up a seat, but a new poll shows that it’s a possibility. A new Suffolk University poll finds Democratic incumbent Al Franken leading all four, relatively unknown Republican candidates, but he fails to pick up majority support from voters.

In four head-to-head match-ups with declared Republican candidates, Franken gets roughly 44 percent support to the Republicans’ 29 percent. While his lead is in the double digits, the gap falls within the percentage of Minnesotans who say they remain undecided on who to support. Nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, responded that they do not yet know whether they would back Franken or his Republican challengers.

Republicans also have plenty of room to grow. At least 59 percent of respondents said they had never heard of the four candidates: state representative Jim Abeler, county commissioner Chris Dahlberg, businessman Mike McFadden, and state senator Julianne Ortman. The survey showed McFadden and Ortman lead the crowded field in the Republican party with 12 and 14 percent, respectively (62 percent were undecided).

Meanwhile, Franken’s favorability rating is also below 50 percent, with only 46 percent giving him a positive rating and 41 percent give him an unfavorable rating, closely mirroring President Obama’s ratings in the state.

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