KTSP/SurveyUSA poll in Minnesota shows Mark Dayton, Al Franken having problems.

What a lovely poll that is.

Well, it’s lovely from my point of view, at least.

Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken survived recounts when they won their first elections to the governor’s office and U.S. Senate. According to our latest KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, they might have to sweat our close races again in 2014. Franken clings to a six-point lead over his closest Republican challenger Mike McFadden, 48 percent to 42 percent. The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.1 percent.


Governor Dayton also faces a potentially close re-election bid. He also leads his nearest competitor by just six points. The GOP-endorsed candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, trails Dayton 46% to 40%.



The Minnesota Senate race is an annoyance.

David Freddoso lays it out: Barack Obama has a 36% – thirty-six – approval rating and Al Franken’s own personal numbers are 46/42.  That’s the kind of combination that screams ‘vulnerable incumbent’ – but we just need a candidate.  And there’s still no clear sign of one in the wings.

I know, there are candidates.  But we need one of them to start shining. Today. And then we need the other candidates to get out of the way.

Sorry. Venting.

Moe Lane


Star Tribune: Al Franken at 44% against opponents (…they muttered, darkly).

You’re probably sourly amused at all the signalling done in these paragraphs:

A new Minnesota poll, commissioned by a partisan group, finds that Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken is “potentially vulnerable” as he mounts his bid for re-election.

It found that Franken has a 3 percentage lead over Republican Julianne Ortman and a 6 percentage point lead over Republican Mike McFadden.

The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies for American Encore, a group connected to the Koch Brothers that is already running television ads bashing Franken. It included 1,081 likely Minnesota voters in late March.



Tweet of the Day, But Al Franken’s Hatred of Free Speech IS Un-American edition.

Classic case, really.


Huh. @alfranken is a big-time #NSA surveillance supporter?


WASHINGTON — A vocal proponent among US Senate liberals for controversial National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance efforts says the program could be shut down, and experts are unsure how many Americans’ phone numbers have been gathered.

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, one of the few proponents of the NSA data-collection programs among Democratic progressives, said Wednesday he is “not assuming” that lawmakers will opt to “keep the bulk collection.”

“Vocal,” even. (more…)


Add Minnesota to the list of “#obamacare exchanges about to wreck YOUR insurance coverage.”

Time to test Minnesota Nice to destruction, I guess:

…Minnesota’s top insurers have laid out a list of technological problems that they say may keep people who’ve enrolled in a health plan from being covered on Jan. 1.

Insurance carriers selling plans on the state’s insurance marketplace say enrollment information they’re getting from MNsure, is inaccurate and incomplete – and that time is running out to fix these problems.


“At this late date, the health plan companies do not have most of the names or information on individuals who have enrolled through MNsure,” Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans wrote in a letter to MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov and Lucinda Jesson, Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services.



Senator Al Franken (D, Minnesota) is in more trouble than the Democrats want to admit.

I do not say, Al Franken will be beaten next year.  I do say, Al Franken can be beaten next year. He is not as invulnerable as apparently everybody else thought that he was:

Franken’s seat currently sits on the ‘watch list’ of D.C. prognosticators Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato – both identifying the race as a ‘likely’ hold for Franken, with the caveat that the race may yet become competitive.

Such caution seems validated in light of a new St. Cloud State University poll that was released on Wednesday, which shows Franken receiving a job approval rating of just 39 percent among his constituents – 18 points behind the state’s senior delegation member Amy Klobuchar at 57 percent.

Fifty-one percent of Gopher State residents rated Franken’s job performance negatively.

That’s a poll of adults – which, contra that article, is not actually great news for Franken.  Adult voters tend, by and large, to skew a bit more Democratic than likely voters*.  Mind you, more polling is needed. (more…)


I wonder what Al Franken’s internal polling is telling him.

Presumably not good things.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) says he would be open to a brief delay in the individual mandate if the problems with HealthCare.gov aren’t fixed by the end of the month, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

“I think then we have to consider extending the deadline for the mandate, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen,” Franken told MPR.

Franken has so far been relatively quiet about potential changes to the health-care law, but he now joins a growing group of Senate Democrats in seats that could be targeted by the GOP in 2014 who are speaking up on the issue.

…And as you can see, the Washington Post kind of agrees with me there.  Franken has always been, in my opinion, more brittle than he looks; and while you are certainly welcome to discount my opinion (I am not always right) Franken is certainly showing the signs of somebody who is at least worried. Guess we’ll see.

Via Instapundit.


Pushme-pullyou Watch: Assault Weapons and Chuck Hagel.

This is a kind of a good news, maybe bad news kind of thing.  First, the kind of good news:

[Sen Stuart Smalley Al] Franken, speaking during a press event in Rochester, said he supports limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and tightening the nation’s system of background checks. But, he declined to say whether he supported a ban on assault weapons, a key provision of the president’s plan.

Via @rickklein.  It’s only kind of good news because while it shows that Al Franken (or at least his staff) is aware that an actual ‘assault weapons ban’ would end up being a PR disaster for the Democrats*, it still indicates that the Other Side is alas wedded to the same magical thinking that made them think that limiting magazine sizes was actually going to do anything to combat gun violence.  While this is convenient for the Republican party, it is not so convenient for the Republic: the system works best when both parties are engaged in – what’s the term of art, again?  Ah, yes – are engaged in ‘reality-based’ thinking.



#rsrh A PSA for 2013’s researchers.

For those trying to work out why the following scenario came to pass:

Knowing how public schools actually operate, you can write the story before it even happens. “An 8-year-old pupil at Tom Davis Elementary School was arrested today, charged with harassment and expelled from school. The boy, who allegedly taunted a classmate as ‘gay,’ is accused of bullying on the basis of sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. ‘This is crazy,’ said the boy’s mother. ‘He’s too young to understand what “gay” means.’ “

…it’s fairly simple: the bumbling, inane stupidity of Al Franken* is only matched by that of the progressive activists who thought that it would be a good idea to elevate Stuart Smalley to the US Senate.

Wurzer: As other parents listen to our conversation here, and maybe their child’s been the target of a bully–maybe the child’s not gay or lesbian. Could you, in the statute, say–why not just bullying is for any reason?

Franken: Well, uh, we, you know, it–it is illegal for so many reasons that–you know, race, religion, uh, national origin, disability, uh–I guess, I guess you can say that bullying–then it kind of depends on what you’re talking about. If, you know, I guess kids have a right not to bully, but to basically, you know, tease each other about the stupidest things, but certainly not about those things.

Listen to the whole thing: it proves conclusively, once and for all, that the most damning thing that you can say about someone in the English language is “He means well.”

Moe Lane

*To explain: James Taranto and I both know how this story ends, because we’ve seen it happen with no-tolerance school policies.  To put it very simply, school districts default to the hardest line possible when interpreting forbidden behaviors, because if they don’t they get sued to hell and gone.  Which is why the search terms ‘child plastic knife expelled‘ gets 108K hits, and ‘child aspirin expelled‘ gets almost 91K.  But sure, yeah, no doubt the public school system will be better able to handle kids taunting each other…


Senator Smalley is VERY UPSET.

He isn’t very happy with the administration right now:

Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.

Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.

The sources said Franken was the most outspoken senator in the meeting, which followed President Barack Obama’s question-and-answer session with Senate Democrats at the Newseum on Wednesday. But they also said the Minnesotan wasn’t the only angry Democrat in the room.

Absent from the article was any indication that Axelrod particularly cares, probably because he doesn’t. Franken’s relevance to the administration began on July 7, 2009 – and it ended on January 19, 2010. That was the window that Congress had to pass their health care rationing bill, and Congress failed to exploit that window. From the administration’s point of view, Axelrod should be raking Franken over the coals, not the other way around; but the Senate gets tiresome when the executive branch does not show proper deference to its members. Which – to everyone’s embarrassment – these days includes Senator Franken.

So I suppose that they have to let him yap.

Moe Lane

PS: One of the most exciting things about the thought of next year’s Senate makeup – from a Republican’s point of view – is the thought that Al Franken can only have a higher profile in the Senate.  Even if we don’t completely flip it.

Crossposted to RedState.

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