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Minnesota Senate: Coleman 39% Franken 32% Ventura 24%

A report earlier today suggested that former Governor Jesse Ventura had announced he will enter Minnesota’s United States Senate race challenging both the incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and the DFL nominee Al Franken. Ventura, however, now denies that story and says his decision won’t be made until the filing deadline next Tuesday.

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey conducted last month found Coleman with a seven-point lead in a three-way race. Coleman picked up 39% of the vote, Franken 32% and Ventura 24%. July 15 is the deadline for filing for the Senate race.

Coleman is viewed favorably by 51% of the state’s voters, Franken by 49%, and Ventura by 36%. Coleman was first elected to the Senate six years ago, with just under 50% of the vote. He came in second to Ventura in a three-way race for governor in 1998. He is hurt by the fact that Republican Presidential candidate John McCain is not doing terribly well in Minnesota.

Ventura announced in a radio interview that he is running primarily because he is angry about Coleman’s support for the War in Iraq. At the moment, however, Ventura’s entry in the race benefits Coleman. In a two-way race, the incumbent holds just a three-point edge over Franken, 48% to 45% lead.

An independent Ventura candidacy draws voters from both major party nominees but hits the Democratic challenger the hardest.

Versus Franken alone, Coleman has the support of 92 % of Republicans, 20% of Democrats and 41% of unaffiliated voters. If Ventura runs, the incumbent’s GOP support drops to 79%, and only 15% of Democrats and 31% of those not affiliated with either party.

Similarly, without Ventura in the race, Franken is supported by 73% of Democrats, 6% of Republicans and 42% of unaffiliated voters. But if the former governor runs, Franken pulls only slightly more than half of Democrats (54%), 5% of Republicans and 28% of the unaffiliated.

In a three-way race, the survey shows Ventura with 15% of Republicans, 25% of Democrats and 32% of unaffiliated voters.

Any incumbent senator who polls below 50% is considered vulnerable. In addition to Coleman, many Republican Senators currently fall into that category. In fact, At least eight other Republican Senate seats are potentially in play for Democrats including seats in Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, and Kentucky.

So far, just two Democratic incumbents are polling below 50%--Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Frank Lautenberg in New Jersey.

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 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 11, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 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.