A new Rasmussen poll was released today of 500 likely voters in the Minnesota Senate race that gives Republican Norm Coleman a narrow lead over both candidates, but confirms the race is still 'one to watch' in 2008.
Coleman leads Mike Ciresi by a 46-43 margin in the new survey, conducted October 31st, nearly identical to his 46-42 lead measured in Rasmussen's last poll conducted 8 weeks prior in early September 2007.
Coleman leads Al Franken by a 49-42 margin, slightly higher than the 46-41 percent lead from back in September.
Franken still suffers from the highest unfavorability rating among the three candidate—creeping up from 46 percent in March's Rasmussen poll, to 47 percent in September, to 48 percent in the new October poll. Ciresi's unfavorability rating dropped from 43 percent in September to 40 percent in October.
Coleman still remains a fairly popular figure in the Gopher State according to Rasmussen, with a 56 percent favorability rating (up from 51 percent in March and 54 percent in September), while 42 percent have an unfavorable view of the first term Senator.
Both the Rasmussen poll and yesterday's SurveyUSA poll were conducted by automated phone surveys, however the Rasmussen poll screened for likely voters while the SurveyUSA poll screened for the larger pool of registered voters. As a result, fewer respondents in the Rasmussen poll were undecided as to whom they would vote for in the Coleman-Franken matchup (4 percent vs. 9 percent at SurveyUSA) as well as the Coleman-Ciresi matchup (7 percent vs. 12 percent).
Additionally, approximately twice as many respondents were unfamiliar with the candidates in the SurveyUSA poll as compared to Rasmussen.