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Franken and Ciresi Close In Further On Sen. Coleman in New Poll

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In a new poll released today by Rasmussen Reports, Republican Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman now holds 5 and 4-point leads over his chief rivals—Al Franken and Mike Ciresi respectively.

The poll, conducted September 6th of 500 likely voters in the Gopher State, finds Al Franken has closed the gap from a 46-36 deficit in a March 2007 Rasmussen poll to 46-41. Franken is only viewed favorably by 46 percent of Minnesotans, with a very high number (47 percent) already having an unfavorable view of the satirist and actor.

Mike Ciresi trails Coleman 46 to 42 percent and also has higher unfavorable numbers (43 percent) than favorable (40 percent).

Coleman's favorable numbers are actually quite good—54 percent—with 46 percent having an unfavorable view - Minnesotans seemed to have formed an opinion of their senior senator one way or the other. Coleman's problem is that he is unable to reach the 50 percent support mark in election matchups against his DFL rivals despite the high unfavorability rankings of Franken and Ciresi.

In the previous public polling matchups between the candidates (SurveyUSA, July 2007), Coleman had a 49-42 lead on Franken and 48-42 lead over Ciresi.

The new Rasmussen numbers indicate that Minnesota's Senate race remains one of the prized targets for the Democrats in the coming election.

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Remains of the Data

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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.


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