February 15, 2007

Why Is This Man Smiling?

coleman1.jpgPerhaps Norm Coleman just read the polling taken by KSTP-TV in the wake of Al Franken's announcement that the former Air America host will run for his Senate seat. The local ABC affiliate decided to test the waters in Minnesota for Franken, and they found that only 3500 of the 10,000 lakes feels warm enough for a Franken dip:

U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman would win easily if he ends up facing comedian Al Franken in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race in 2008, according to an exclusive 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS/SURVEY USA poll.

The popular comedian announced that he would seek the seat Wednesday on the last episode of his radio show.

The poll shows Coleman getting 57 percent of the vote and Franken getting 35 percent.

The poll also looked at a possible matchup between Coleman and attorney Mike Ciresi, who is also expected to seek the DFL nomination. Coleman also wins that match by a margin of 57 to 34.

The margin of error on the poll is +/- 3.9 percent; 632 registered voters were polled on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13.

About the only positive note that Franken can take from this result is that he fares just as well as Cerisi. Both of them lose to Coleman in double digits despite the DFL's edge in voter registrations, which points to a tough 2008 attempt to wrest the seat from Coleman.

Franken even fails in the Twin Cities metro region, normally a place of strength for the DFL and progressives. He actually scores worse there -- 32% -- than he does in the state as a whole. He also has a tough time attracting Democrats to his cause, with only 66% of the DFL selecting Franken over Coleman. The Senator, on the other hand, has the support of 94% of all Minnesota Republicans.

Moderates make a big difference in Minnesota politics. Here again, Coleman smacks Franken down hard. Coleman gets 54% of the moderate vote, compared to 37% for Franken. Even in the Iron Range, another point of strength for the DFL and its union legacy, Franken can barely muster a majority, 51%-37%.

In demographics, Coleman hits a home run as well. Coleman gets at least 50% in all age groups, while Franken never crosses 40%. In Generation Y voters, Coleman gets an astounding 74-19 win. (KSTP reported it in reverse, but the SurveyUSA data shows Coleman winning the youth vote.) Coleman also gets a majority of black voters, while Franken wins a bare plurality of Hispanics (37-34). Again, the numbers for Cerisi look almost identical.

So one can forgive Coleman a surreptitious grin at Franken's announcement. This poll shows Franken and Cerisi as anklebiters and pretenders.

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