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MPR / HHH MN Senate Poll: Franken & Coleman in Dead Heat

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A Minnesota Public Radio / Humphrey Institute poll of 917 Minnesotans finds DFL candidate Al Franken running ahead of 1-term Republican incumbent Norm Coleman 43 to 40 percent.

The MPR / HHH survey, conducted January 20-27, marks the first time Franken has polled on top in any of the 9 matchup polls released since February 2007. Nearly one year ago, Coleman led by 22 points (SurveyUSA, February 2007), but Franken climbed to within single digits in each of the 5 previous public polls conducted since July 2007 (SurveyUSA, Rasmussen). The MPR / HHH survey found 17 percent of the Minnesota electorate uncommitted to either Franken or Coleman.

Franken, of course, has to win the DFL caucuses on Super Tuesday, February 5th to secure the general election matchup against Coleman. Franken led his chief rival, Mike Ciresi 42 to 18 percent among the 478 Democrats surveyed, with a substantial 35 percent undecided.

The MPR / HHH poll also found Coleman's job approval at 50 percent—which is right in line with how Minnesotans have viewed Coleman throughout most of his tenure in D.C.: in 35 of 37 public polls conducted since Feburary 2003 (the month after Coleman began serving the state), the senior Senator from Minnesota has received a job performance rating between 46 and 55 percent. By contrast, DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar has received a job approval rating of between 52 and 66 percent in the 13 surveys conducted during the past year, including 66 percent in the new MPR / HHH poll.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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