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Coleman 48%, Franken 47% in Minnesota

Republican incumbent Norm Coleman has inched ahead of Al Franken in Minnesota’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race, with the introduction of a third-party candidate having virtually no impact on the contest so far.

Coleman, who is seeking a second term in the Senate, is ahead of Franken, a TV comedy writer and longtime Democratic activist, by a statistically insignificant one percentage point, 48% to 47%, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state.

Last month Coleman and Franken were tied at 45% each.

Coleman has been under the 50% level of support in eight-out-of-nine polls conducted this year, always a sign an incumbent is potentially vulnerable. He was first elected to the Senate six years ago, with just under 50% of the vote.

The new survey was conducted prior to reports that Franken had taken time from his campaign to co-write a skit belittling Republican presidential candidate John McCain for this past weekend’s Saturday Night Live.

Independent candidate Dean Barkley registered three percent (3%) of the vote. This is the first survey of state voters that includes Barkley, the founder of the Minnesota Independence Party, who entered the race in July. In 1998, his party’s nominee, former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, defeated Coleman and a Democratic candidate for governor of Minnesota. Barkely entered the Senate race after Ventura decided not to.

Barack Obama has opened an eight-point lead over McCain in Minnesota, although nationally the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll continues to show a very competitive race.Male voters prefer Coleman to Franken 57% to 39%. Women voters feel the opposite way by nearly identical numbers: They favor Franken 54% to 39%.

Coleman and Franken have nearly identical favorables and unfavorables, both in the 50% range. Barkley is seen at least somewhat favorably by 39% and at least somewhat unfavorably by 34%.

Both major party candidates have the support of nine-out-of-10 members of their respective parties. Coleman leads among unaffiliated voters 46% to 42%. Six percent (6%) of unaffiliateds support Barkley.

Fifty percent (50%) of Minnesota voters say Governor Tim Pawlenty, a finalist for the Republican vice presidential slot, is doing a good or excellent job. Twenty-one percent (21%) rate his performance as poor.

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This survey was conducted in partnership with Fox Television Stations Inc.

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Toss-Up

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Coleman

43%

39%

50%

Franken

39%

41%

47%

This telephone survey of 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 18, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology


Minnesota Trends: Coleman vs. Franken

Date

Coleman

Franken

10/28/2008

43%

39%

10/22/2008

37%

41%

10/09/2008

37%

43%

09/18/2008

48%

47%

08/13/2008

45%

45%

07/22/2008

44%

43%

07/10/2008

42%

44%

06/11/2008

48%

45%

05/22/2008

47%

45%

04/22/2008

50%

43%

03/19/2008

48%

46%

02/16/2008

46%

49%


Favorable Ratings For Senate Candidates in Minnesota

 

Coleman

Franken

Very Favorable

24%

18%

Somewhat Favorable

27%

29%

Somewhat Unfavorable

26%

13%

Very Unfavorable

22%

38%

Not Sure

1%

2%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.