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Poll of Franken and likely challengers mostly good news for Franken

Way too soon to take a poll like this seriously, but Public Policy Polling is out with results of a robo-dialed poll of Minnesotans' feelings toward Sen. Al Franken and some of his likely challengers. It was taken over the weekend. If you did take it seriously, it would be mostly good news for Franken, the freshman DFL senator who will be up for reelection in 2014.

By 52-41, most of those polled approved of Franken's job performance. 89 percent of DFLers expressed approval compared with 83 percent disapproval among Republicans. Perhaps the best news for the incumbent is that self-described moderates approved of his performance by a solid-looking 62-30.

When Republicans were offered a list of likely Repub nominees to challenge Franken, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was favored by 45 percent, followed distantly by Congressman John Kline (19%), former Congressman Chip Cravaack (13%), Congressman Erik Paulsen (11%), former state Rep. Laura Brod (4%) and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek (2%). This probably reflected Bachmann's high name recognition more than any assessment of her chances of unseating Franken. Kline and Paulsen are the most often-mentioned challengers among the politically-obsessed, but many of those polled had no opinion about them. Bachmann is seldom mentioned among the likeliest challengers and the poll finds her unpopular statewide with a decidedly upside down 35%/59% approval/disapproval rating.

And, in fact, Bachmann fared the worst of any of four Republicans PPP tested in hypothetical trial match-ups against Franken. Franken won all four match-ups, by 50-44 over former Sen. Norm Coleman (who has said he will not run for the seat in 2014) over Kline by 49/41, over Paulsen 50/39 and over Bachmann by 54/40.

PPP said Franken's success in the trial match ups was due to strong support from moderate and female voters. PPP"s writeup of the survey is here.

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Comments (7)

Bachmann vs. Franken?Comedy

Bachmann vs. Franken?

Comedy gold!!

We need some entertainment after the last election.

But at least Franken

KNOWS when he's being funny.

Yes, sanctimonious is best

Yes, sanctimonious is best skewered with humor.

Best news for Franken

The best part of this poll for Senator Franken is that Rep. Bachmann is the favorite of the Republican faithful. I don't, however, think her delusions are quite strong enough to get her to run in a statewide election.

But obviously strong enough

But obviously strong enough for a national stage?

One has to wonder

Two possibilities:

1. She didn't seriously think she had a chance at winning. Her presidential candidacy was just an extended ego trip. She got her name in the papers, and was mentioned breathlessly on Fox News. Fame was the spur.

2. Her electoral strategy relied on large, hitherto untapped, pockets of Real Americans coming out in her support.

The first option seems more likely to me. I have never thought Rep. Bachmann was stupid (look how deftly she manipulates her people). She's nuttier than a jar of Skippy, but not stupid.

Crazy like a Fox

News, that is.
The people that vote for her, on the other hand ....