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Rasmussen: Coleman-Franken race tightens

Rasmussen Reports is out with a new U.S. Senate poll, which shows Al Franken has clawed back within two percentage points of Norm Coleman. Last month, Coleman led Franken 50-43; now, the margin is 47-45.

Rasmussen says Coleman's margin among "unaffiliated" voters has slid from 18 points to 9, and Franken benefits from more Democrats in the state. There may be an Obama effect: the Illinois senator tops John McCain in the same poll 53-38. The 500-person survey's margin of sampling error is a hefty 4.5 percentage points, plus or minus.

Rasmussen apparently did not ask about the campaign's other major DFLer, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

An intriguing datapoint: Rasmussen finds Franken and Coleman equally polarizing. Coleman's favorable-unfavorable is 49-49; Franken's is 47-49, though the DFLer has more die-hard haters and fewer unabashed fans than Norm.

If you're a Republican, the good news is Franken is as hated as a guy who until recently has been a loyal Bush foot soldier. If you're a Franken backer, the good news is all the negative publicity of the last month hasn't doomed your guy's chances. This poll may play into electability arguments at the June 6-8 state DFL convention.

The survey was taken May 22, after days of reports on Franken's tax troubles. (Hat tip: MPR's Polinaut.)

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Comments (3)

I have a great deal of difficulty understanding how this poll could have any scientific validity without including Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer at this point. There have, in fact, been few polls that included JNP, but those that did indicated a steep climb in name recognition and likely chances against Coleman. If early numbers indicate any sort of trend, it is quite possible that JNP would be nearly even with Franken at this point. So why not include him? And what in the world could this poll mean if it doesn't include him at this point?

I wonder how skewed these polls have been because of the fact that Al Franken has refused to debate his rivals for about the last half year. Debates are one of the ways voters can compare candidates' positions on issues, but are ALSO a way voters can see how effectively candidates present their arguments for holding those positions. Al Franken, experienced with audiences as he is, lost all the debates he was in prior to saying he didn't "need" debates. It's not that he would be a bad senator; just not nearly as good as the articulate, baggage-free Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

This ad made by the Coleman campaign is immature and sophomoric:
http://dailydesultory.blogspot.com/2008/06/you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me...

At least Franken actually grew up here, unlike Coleman, who spent his formidable years on the east coast