As an upstart candidate with little political record, Al Franken used his inexperience as a plus in defeating Minnesota Republican senator Norm Coleman, but that same strategy could be the former comedian's undoing in 2014.
Coleman has put his support behind investment banker Mike McFadden, whom he believes can oust Franken by painting him as a "Washington insider" – a label which is deadly in the current political environment.
"The atmosphere right now is pretty toxic. This is a time when it's good to not be of Washington. Mike is part of a solution, and Franken is part of the problem," said Coleman in a recent interview with Roll Call.
McFaddden has won the support of many GOP establishment figures in the state and has greatly outraised his primary opponent, Jim Abeler, who has just over $100,000 on hand in comparison to McFaddens $3 million campaign war chest, the Minneapolis Star Tribune
reports. The two Republican candidates will face off in an August 12 primary.
Democrats have announced their plans to use McFadden's career as an investment banker against him in a manner similar to the strategy used by GOP candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. Rather than hiding from his background as an investment banker, McFadden is embracing his experience and citing as a reason to vote for him over incumbent senator.
"Senator Franken and the Democrats have no idea what I do. They don’t have a clue, just like they don’t have any idea how to run this economy,” McFadden said
recently in an interview.
In a sign of how the race has changed in recent months, both McFadden and Franken made Fourth of July weekend appearances in the 8th Congressional district, which is viewed as a critical component to any victory in the general election, the Star Tribune reports.
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