A Tied Up Tossup in Minnesota
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:21:58 PM EDT
Over the past week there have been a couple of nice developments in the Minnesota Senate race that are worth noting here at MyDD. First, Rasmussen Reports released a poll, their second in as many months, showing the race to be within the margin of error.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Minnesota voters found Republican Norm Coleman regaining a statistically insignificant lead over Democrat Al Franken in the race for the United States Senate. The incumbent Senator leads the comedian 48% to 46%.
A month ago, Franken had a three-point lead over Coleman. Since then, Democratic candidate Mike Ciresi withdrew from the race. Ciresi was just two points behind the incumbent.
The race in Minnesota is close among unaffiliated voters, with Franken holding a small lead. The comedian does very well among politically moderate voters, leading Coleman 56% to 38%.
With numbers like these, it's little wonder that the political prognosticators are taking note. Here's a snippet from Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report (subscription required), which has bumped this race from "leans Republican" to "tossup."
There is nothing more difficult than changing the rating of a race in the aftermath of a flawed poll like the Minnesota Public Radio survey. However, given Ciresi's exit from the race, Franken's ability to be a serious candidate and to raise money, and the overall political environment that continues to work against Republicans, all combine to produce a race that really doesn't lean in Coleman's favor but is too close to call. It moves to the Toss Up column.
Franken has a lot of support from the netroots, as well as the broader grassroots community. In an interview here on MyDD from last year, I think you can get an idea why.
Jonathan Singer: Final question, kind of getting back to the politics. What's the message that you'd like to send to the progressive blogosphere, if there's one? Is there something you'd like to hammer home to the netroots today?
Al Franken: I'm one of you. Air America is certainly something that was attempting to counter the incredible right wing dominance of the dialogue in this country and we tended to have people from the netroots on our show.
So I kind of think I'm one of you.
It would be really great to see Franken in the Senate speaking truth to power in a way that would make Paul Wellstone, may he rest in peace, proud. And judging by the looks of it, Franken has a real shot at winning in November.