Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Coleman's Lead Shrinks Over DFL-ers in New SurveyUSA Poll

Bookmark and Share

There are good reasons the Democratic Party is targeting Minnesota for one of their best chances at a pick-up in the 2008 elections for the U.S. Senate.

First, Republican incumbent Norm Coleman's job approval ratings have generally been mediocre to just south of mediocre throughout most of his four and one-half years in office. Of late, they are going further south. The latest SurveyUSA poll in Minnesota marks Coleman's lowest numbers to date: 43 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval. Coleman has never eclipsed the 60 percent approval mark in any public poll—a feat accomplished just this month in the SurveyUSA poll by DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar (61 percent). Coleman's numbers are thus not lackluster due to a generalized backlash against Washington D.C. per se, as Klobuchar is registering strong support for her work on the Hill at the moment.

Secondly, more and more Minnesotans are identifying themselves as Democrats rather than Republicans. In a Humphrey Institute survey just a few weeks before the 2004 election, 33 percent of Minnesotans identified themselves as Republicans, 30 percent Democrats, and 31 percent independents. In monthly polls by SurveyUSA since March 2007, more Minnesotans have identified themselves as Democrats than Republicans by 12-point, 13-point, 9-point, 16-point, and 11-point (35 to 24 percent in July) margins.

Thirdly, Coleman's numbers against the potential DFL nominee are not trending well for the incumbent. According to the new SurveyUSA poll, in a head-to-head pairing against Mike Ciresi, Coleman leads 48 to 42 percent, down from a 57 to 34 percent advantage in a February SurveyUSA poll.

When matched up against Al Franken, Coleman holds a 7-point 49 to 42 percent lead, down from 57 to 35 percent in February. In May, a MPR poll showed Coleman still with a 20 plus-point advantage—54 to 32 percent.

In the first public poll matching Coleman against DFL-er Jim Cohen, Coleman leads 49 to 37 percent.

While Coleman's numbers are somewhat alarming for the GOP, he is far from facing a crisis situation. Coleman has demonstrated himself to be one of the most centrist Republicans in the Senate (National Journal's 2007 rankings of U.S. Senators found Coelman to by the 4th closest Senator to the center, based on its 2006 vote ratings), and the Senator will undoubtedly campaign on that to appeal to independent voters. Coleman would be wise to distance himself now and through his re-election campaign as far from President Bush as possible—whose job approval ratings has dipped below 30 percent in the Gopher State.

Previous post: New ARG Iowa Poll Finds Rudy & Hillary On Top
Next post: Coleman and Klobuchar Release Joint Statement on Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting