Also in today’s Jolt, the headline from a new poll of Minnesota likely voters commissioned by American Encore and conducted by Magellan Strategies:
Only 41 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Sen. Franken, while 45 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Only 44 percent approve of the job he is doing.
• 54% of respondents disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, and only 38% approve.
• Only 40% of respondents think Al Franken deserves re-election.
Obviously, Minnesota is not easy territory for Republicans, and very few folks had this race on even the broadest target list for 2014. But maybe he’s not quite good enough, not quite smart enough, and doggone it, people just don’t like him enough.
Among the survey’s other findings:
• Among all respondents, in order, 50% think freedom of speech is the most important, followed by 25% for freedom of religion, 6% for freedom of the press, 4% for the right to assemble, and 3% for the right to petition.
• The voter mood does not bode well for incumbents, with only 31% thinking the country is heading in the right direction and 60% feeling things are on the wrong track.
The results were based on a statewide automated voice recorded and live cell phone interview survey of 1,081 likely 2014 Minnesota general election voters.
“Given that Senator Franken is now publicly attacking those exercising their free speech rights, it’s significant that Minnesotans rank this freedom so highly. This poll underscores the importance of standing up for free speech and holding those like Senator Franken accountable for their actions in attempting to destroy it,” said American Encore President Sean Noble.
You may have seen American Encore’s debut video, pointing out how the recent use of the IRS to target groups based upon their political views runs afoul of the First Amendment and America’s most fundamental values . . . featuring a certain Minnesota senator, as well:
Campaign-related news you may have missed in recent days . . .
OHIO: Democratic Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald will formally announce he’s running for governor of Ohio this week against incumbent Republican John Kasich. Fitzgerald already has a campaign web site up and running, and is at this point the only Democrat running, something of a surprise. Quite a few Democrats have turned down a race, including former governor Ted Strickland, U.S. representative Tim Ryan, and former U.S. representative Betty Sutton, according to theCleveland Plain-Dealer.
MINNESOTA: Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, announced he will not run against Senator Al Franken in 2014; he said he will focus on running for reelection. No Republicans have announced bids against Franken so far.
It’s almost absurd to think Brown, who has vied with the likes of ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, billionaire Whitman and a sitting attorney general in Evelle Younger, worries much about the Republicans now lining up. If Poizner or some other billionaire capable of writing personal checks to finance a major campaign were to enter the lists, Brown might be given some pause. But right now he looks as secure as any 2014 candidate in America, even though he hasn’t said a word about running.
[I] want to mentor a new generation of optimistic, limited government focused leaders who aren’t afraid to find common ground to solve problems. I will focus time and energy helping Minnesota elect a senator and governor who support free enterprise, efficient government and seek to bring folks together.
He added, “As a minority party w/ a diminishing base, Republican Party would do well to focus on gaining more converts than enforcing conformity.”
“I spent hours in the chair,” Franken told NEWSWEEK, presiding over dreary speeches. “You have no choice when you’re a freshman . . . But the thing about it is, instead of using the time to write thank-you notes, I pay close attention to what’s going on.”