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SCSU poll shows declining approval numbers for Democratic leaders but no political gain for GOP

St. Cloud State University findings: Obama’s job approval dropped to 38 percent from 47 percent, and Dayton’s dropped to 44 percent from 53 percent.

The St. Cloud State University annual political poll has delivered declining job approval numbers for Democrats Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton.
MinnPost file photo by James Nord

The well-respected St. Cloud State University annual political poll has delivered declining job approval numbers for Democrats Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton, but according to the director of the poll, Republicans don’t appear to be benefiting.

The poll interviewed 626 respondents on landlines and cell phones between Oct. 20 and 27. They were asked, “How would you rate the overall performance of Barack Obama, Mark Dayton, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. Excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?”

The results:

PositiveNegative
Obama38%61%
Franken39%51%
Dayton44%52%
Klobuchar57%34%

Dayton and Obama’s job approvals dropped from 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively, compared with the same poll taken in 2012.

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On the relatively strong negatives for Franken and Dayton, Stephen Frank, political science professor at SCSU and director of the poll, said: “It’s not unexpected for public officials to pass out of a honeymoon and their ratings consistently go down. We’re seeing a lot of governors, Democrats and Republicans in the forties on job approval.”

In addition to job approval, the SCSU poll asked respondents to rank political figures and parties on a “feeling thermometer.” A register between 50 and 100 indicates favorable feelings, below 50 indicates unfavorable.

Respondents were “warm” to Klobuchar and Franken. Here are their scores for the four Democrats and for Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:

  • Klobuchar: 66
  • Franken: 51
  • Dayton: 49
  • Obama: 46
  • Bachmann: 31.

Asked to rank their feelings for the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Tea Party and the Libertarian Party, none received a “warm” score:

  • Democratic Party: 47
  • Republican Party: 40
  • Libertarian Party: 37
  • Tea Party: 31.

According to Frank, this gauge indicates that Republicans are not picking up disaffected Democrats. 

Later this week, SCSU will release poll results on whether Minnesota is headed in the right or wrong direction, the most important problem facing the state, which party can best handle these problems, and which party should control state House of Representatives in 2014.

“When you see these two [sets of poll results] in context, I believe Republicans will take no particular glee in thinking, ‘We are going sweep elections in 2014,’ ” Frank said.