“Amy Klobuchar is the most popular of 66 Senators PPP has measured in 2010, and she won her first election to the Senate four years ago by 20 points,” the Democratic polling firm noted in its release.
Klobuchar, a former Hennepin County attorney, defeated Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy 58 percent to 38 percent in 2006. The 2012 Senate race has developed slower than some in other states as Minnesotans wait on the results of a recount in the 2010 gubernatorial race.
No candidate has entered the race for the Republican nomination, but PPP polled a number of leading Minnesota Republicans. The best candidate was outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Though Pawlenty had Senate aspirations in 2002, this cycle he is all but certain to run for the White House. Nonetheless, in the Senate poll Klobuchar beats him in the early survey, 53 percent to 43 percent.
The combination of Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann’s stellar fundraising against state Sen. Tarryl Clark in 2010 and the possibility that Minnesota might lose a House seat in reapportionment have led to speculation she might run for Senate. However, she trailed Klobuchar, 56 percent to 39 percent, the poll found.
Former Sen. Norm Coleman, who lost to Sen. Al Franken in 2008, trailed Klobuchar by 14 points. Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who seems likely to lose the recount, was down to Klobuchar by 18 points, as was Rep. Erik Paulsen.
PPP surveyed 949 Minnesota voters on Dec. 4 and 5, and the poll had a margin of error of 3.2 points.
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