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 Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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