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Minnesota Senate: Toss-up Between Coleman and Franken

The United States Senate race in Minnesota remains a toss-up, but things are beginning to lean in favor of Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows Coleman and challenger Al Franken each earning 45% of the vote. This is the fourth straight survey where the candidates have been within three points of each other. A month ago, there was a statistically insignificant one-point gap in the race.

But when “leaners” are included, Coleman is up by three percentage points, 49% to 46%. Leaners are survey participants who initially don’t support either candidate but express a preference for one candidate during a follow-up question. Last month, the “leaners” were heading in Franken’s direction and the challenger enjoyed a three-point edge.

Coleman is viewed favorably by 53% of Minnesota voters, Franken by 48%.

Those numbers include 24% with a Very Favorable opinion of Coleman and another 24% with a Very Unfavorable view. For Franken, the numbers are 19% Very Favorable and 30% Very Unfavorable.

Coleman has been under the 50% level of support in seven-out-of-eight polls conducted this year. That’s always a sign that an incumbent could be potentially vulnerable. However, Coleman generally maintained a slight lead over Franken. That changed in July when Jesse Ventura flirted with the idea of entering the race as an independent candidate. Ventura indicated his primary reason for considering a run was unhappiness with Coleman.

Waiting until the very last moment—the night before the filing deadline--Ventura announced on CNN's Larry King Show that he would not enter the campaign.

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.

The presidential race in traditionally blue Minnesota is still leaning in Barack Obama’s direction, but the Democrat's lead has lessened dramatically in the past month.

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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 August 13, 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.