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Sen. Al Franken Vulnerable Due to Obama's Low Approval Ratings

Image: Sen. Al Franken Vulnerable Due to Obama's Low Approval Ratings
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 12:26 PM

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is facing a tough re-election campaign due to the President Barack Obama's negative approval ratings in the state, according to Fox News.

The race is still believed to favor Franken, but pundits say he is vulnerable to an upset, particularly as his lead against GOP challenger Mike McFadden diminished from a high of 15 points in April to 8 percent in the most recent poll, released last week.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

"The biggest thing [Franken] has to overcome is his lineage to Obama," Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, told FoxNews.com. He said however that "McFadden has a long way to go."

Obama's approval ratings in Minnesota have tanked since April and now stand at just 36 percent, compared to 54 percent who disapprove, despite winning 53 percent support in 2012 against GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

"Obama's approval rating continues to sag," Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, told Fox. "That certainly doesn't help Franken. There's a genuine concern from Democrats who are candid about turnout. I think those things could help McFadden."

Franken's team has acknowledged the challenges he will face.

"We've always known this was going to be a tough race, and it's clear we've got one," Franken spokesman Ryan Furlong told Fox, adding that the campaign is building "a strong and aggressive grass-roots organization across the state."

McFadden's spokesman claims that the "race is much closer than people realize," while the chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota, Keith Downey, said, "Franken is clearly running from his record and distancing himself from President Obama, and he looks like he is doing it because he is feeling vulnerable."

Experts told Fox that for Franken to lose, Minnesota voters would need to believe that his record was akin to Obama's while at the same time agreeing that McFadden offers a better alternative for the state.

Jacobs said he has "not seen any evidence" of real vulnerability for Franken.

"A well-run campaign can give Franken a run for his money, but it hasn't happened yet."

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

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Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is facing a tough re-election campaign due to the President Barack Obama's negative approval ratings in the state, according to Fox News.
Al Franken, Minnesota, Senate, Obama
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2014-26-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 12:26 PM
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