Campaign 2008, Politics

The Minnesota Poll Strikes Again

If you believe the latest Star-Tribune poll, Al Franken leads Norm Coleman by over 10%.

If you believe that, I also have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

At PowerLine, Scott Johnson takes a sharp look at the poll and a contemporaneous SurveyUSA poll showing Coleman with a modest lead. The Minnesota Poll dramatically undersampled Republicans and oversampled Democrats. Given that Franken couldn’t beat 75% in a primary against an unknown opponent, not even Dean Barkley will be able to save him. Coleman’s negative ads are effective because they simply show the truth about Al Franken: that he’s a partisan bomb-thrower. The media is furious, but the voters deserve the truth about Franken’s propensity for violent outbursts.

Sen. Coleman has been a strong voice for Minnesota. He is not the unthinking partisan that the Minnesota left-wing tries to paint him as being. He is a thoughtful moderate running against an ideological extremist—and he will win. Al Franken is the antithesis of “Minnesota Nice,” and his intemperance and propensity to fly off the handle are character traits that are completely wrong for a deliberative body like the Senate.

Campaign 2008, Minnesota Politics, Politics

Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

Like 2006, this is a Democratic year. The GOP brand is more damaged than in has been in ages. President Bush has the approval rating usually reserved for moldy liverwurst. The economy is doing poorly.

But at least one Republican has reason to cheer. The Minnesota DFL has nominated Al Franken to be their candidate for the U.S. Senate. That is good news for Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

Franken, the unfunny comedian “satirist” is the sort of person who will do quite well in the ideologically homogenous bastions of Twin Cities leftism, but will go over like a fart in church elsewhere. Minnesota already made a mockery of the political process once—and at least Gov. Ventura had some executive experience as mayor of a Twin Cities suburb. Franken cannot even claim that. We don’t need a “satirist” in the Senate—in truth it’s already a joke—what we need is a responsible adult to represent the interests of Minnesota.

Sen. Coleman is not a conservative ideologue by any means, and some conservatives dislike him for that. However, he has the right instincts, he has shown a willingness to engage in unpopular but necessary political battles such as UN reform, and he has demonstrated an appropriately Senatorial level of intellectual curiosity. I had the chance to hear him speak before an intimate audience a few months ago, and even some of my liberal friends (one of whom asked him a rather tough question that he answered forthrightly) came away impressed.

This may be a Democratic year, but it is not so Democratic that the DFL can put just anyone into consideration. Against a moderate, thoughtful Republican like Sen. Coleman, the thin resume and ideological extremism of Al Franken will quickly become grating. That doesn’t mean that the Senator doesn’t have a fight on his hands, but it is a fight that can be won.