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Rasmussen Poll: MN U.S. Senate Race A Dead Heat

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A new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters conducted February 16th finds 1-term Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman in a dead heat with both Al Franken and Mike Ciresi in the Gopher State.

Franken leads Coleman 49 to 46 percent, within the poll's margin of error. This is the first Rasmussen poll and only the second public poll overall conducted during the battle for Minnesota's Senate seat that has measured Franken's statewide support ahead of the GOP Senator.

Coleman retains a moderately high favorability rating in the state (55 percent), while Franken reached the 50 percent favorability mark for the first time in four Rasmussen polls (39 percent in March 2007, 46 percent in September 2007, 43 percent in October 2007). Coleman led Franken by 10 points last March, by 5 points last September, and by 7 points last October, according to Rasmussen.

DFL candidate Mike Ciresi is also matching Coleman blow-for-blow, trailing by just two points, 47 to 45 percent, also within the poll's margin of error. Ciresi's main competition now, however, is Franken in the fight for the DFL nomination. This marks the highest level of support Ciresi has received in a matchup poll with Coleman in 10 public polls released since February 2007.

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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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