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Poll: Klobuchar enters 2012 contest with double-digit lead over biggest names in GOP

WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar holds a double-digit lead over the biggest names in the Republican Party who could possibly challenge her in 2012, an early Public Policy Polling survey found.

The closest contest would be against Gov. Tim Pawlenty (whose eyes are a bit more focused on Iowa and New Hampshire), whom she leads 53-43. Klobuchar leads former Sen. Norm Coleman 54-40 and has a 17 to 20-point advantage over Reps. Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen, as well as GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer.

Potential contenders who aren’t already figures on the national political stage, like Marty Seifert or Laura Brod, were not included in the poll.

Wrote PPP: “Amy Klobuchar is overwhelmingly popular and would cruise to reelection at this point pretty much no matter who her Republican opponent was.”

Other takeaways from the survey:

  • Klobuchar’s popularity is among the highest in the country for senators up in 2012. Her net approval is +30, on 59 percent approval and 29 percent disapproval;
  • Coleman’s approval ratings have leveled out, after being underwater in July of last year as the recount concluded;
  • Bachmann doesn’t have statewide ratings right now conducive to a statewide run for anything. Some 37 percent of voters statewide approve of her compared to a 51 percent disapproval.

PPP’s summary is here. Full results here.

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