Political Handicapper Rothenberg Gives Al Franken Slight Downgrade

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Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 09:41 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s rating by the Rothenberg Political Report has been changed from "Safe Democrat" to "Democrat Favored" for his re-election race in November.

Political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg, the editor and publisher of the report, blamed the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama for the adjustment and not Franken.

"Readers should not make too much of the changed rating," he said. "The change reflects the broad national environment and Minnesota’s generally competitive nature.

"A national anti-President Barack Obama wave certainly could threaten incumbent Democratic Sen. Al Franken, and Franken’s 2008 victory — in a good political environment for Democrats — was razor close.

"The new rating says little about Republican challenger Mike McFadden’s candidacy, other than the fact that the wealthy businessman appears to have considerable personal resources that he can sink into the race if he wishes. Franken almost certainly starts with a very comfortable lead."

The Wall Street Journal, however, says McFadden has little chance of unseating Franken, although the race will get closer as the Republican splashes the cash to introduce himself to voters.

Rothenberg added, "At this point, I see little reason to believe that McFadden will beat Franken — and I’m skeptical about the prediction made by anonymous observers … that the contest is likely to be a two-point race by Labor Day."

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