PPP's newest Minnesota poll finds both Al Franken and Mark Dayton leading by double digits for reelection, with Republican voters unsure who they want to nominate for the Senate and Governor next year.
Franken has a 51% approval rating, with 43% of voters disapproving of him. Those numbers are nearly identical to PPP's last poll of the state in May when he was at 51/42. Franken is at 49 or 50% against all of his potential GOP opponents, and leads them by anywhere from 10 to 13 points. It's 49/39 against Chris Dahlberg, 49/38 against Mike McFadden, 50/39 against Jim Abeler, 49/37 against Julianne Ortman, and 49/36 against Monti Moreno.
McFadden and Ortman are polling a little closer to Franken than they were in May, when they trailed by 15 and 17 points respectively. And because none of the Republicans have better than 25% name recognition there's potential for them to pull closer as they become better known. But for now Franken's in a pretty strong position.
There is no front runner in the Republican race for Senate. 53% say they're unsure on who they want their candidate to be. Abeler and Ortman are each at 12%, followed by McFadden at 11%, Dahlberg at 10% and Moreno at 2%.
Turning toward the Governor's race, Mark Dayton has a 48% approval rating with 42% of voters disapproving of him. He's also polling at 48% in head to heads with all of his prospective Republican foes, and leads them by margins ranging from 10 to 12 points. It's 48/38 over Scott Honour and Kurt Zellers, 48/37 over Jeff Johnson, Marty Seifert, and Dave Thompson, and 48/36 over Julie Rosen.
Dayton led these Republicans by 16 to 18 points in match ups when we polled the state in May, so like the Senate race this has tightened some in the last few months. None of the GOP hopefuls have higher than Zellers' 34% level of name recognition, and most of them are stuck in the 20s. That gives them room to grow, but Dayton is awfully close to 50%.
There's just as much indecision among Republican primary voters about the race for Governor as Senate. Kurt Zellers 'leads' with 12% to 11% for Dave Thompson, 10% for Julie Rosen, 9% for Marty Seifert, 8% for Jeff Johnson, and 6% for Scott Honour.
Other notes from Minnesota:
-Amy Klobuchar remains one of the most popular Senators in the country, with a 59/33 approval rating. But she's fallen from her 61/28 standing in May. A lot of that is because she's dropped from 28/57 with Republicans then to 20/66, suggesting that the polarization following the shutdown has made it even harder for politicians to maintain popularity across party lines.
-Speaking of partisan polarization, it's even come to the issue of who the Vikings should start at Quarterback. Republicans prefer Christian Ponder, with 34% picking him to 30% for Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman in a distant 3rd at 13%. But with Democrats, Freeman is the first choice at 30% to 27% for Ponder and 21% for Cassel. Overall it's a tight three way race with 27% preferring Ponder, 25% Cassel, and 22% Freeman.
There's more agreement when it comes to Leslie Frazier's fate- only 27% of Vikings fans think he should return next year compared to 56% who think he should be replaced- and there's even consensus across party lines on that one.
-Twins fans are more charitable when it comes to Ron Gardenhire's future. Despite several poor seasons in a row 57% still think he should return for next season to only 24% who think he should be replaced. There's a big partisan divide issue with Republicans (41/37) only narrowly supportive of Gardenhire's return but Democrats (63/20) firmly behind him. Also it's interesting to note 66% of Minnesotans identify themselves as Twins fans compared to just 57% for the Vikings.
Full results here