Democrat Al Franken has a comfortable lead among Republican challengers for his Minnesota Senate seat in 2014, according to the latest opinion survey by Public Policy Polling.
Franken leads Michele Bachmann, with 55 percent who said they would vote for him next year compared to 38 percent who said they would vote for Bachmann, according to the PPP poll.
If the candidates were Franken and radio personality Jason Lewis, 54 percent said they would vote for Franken compared to 37 percent for Lewis; against financier Mike McFadden, 51 percent would vote for Franken compared to 36 percent for McFadden.
Franken leads state Sen. Julianne Ortman 52 percent to 35 percent for Ortman; state Sen. Julie Rosen trails Franken 36 percent to 52 percent; and former state legislator Rich Stanek faces a 36 percent to 51 percent deficit against Franken, according to the poll results.
Franken has a 51 percent approval rating among voters. In contrast, Bachmann has a 34 percent favorable rating.
"Al Franken has proven to be a pretty popular senator," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. "Add to that a relatively weak Republican bench in Minnesota and he’s looking like a clear favorite for re-election."
Franken, the comedian-turned-politician, won a bitterly contested battle in 2008 against GOP Sen. Norm Coleman that ended in a recount with Franken winning by just a few hundred votes. He has since been quietly building an impressive statewide organization with a $2 million war chest that includes donations from his Hollywood friends like Lily Tomlin and Carl Reiner.
PPP polled 712 Minnesota voters for the survey. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percent.
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