Independent Poll Has Minnesota Race Very Close

Posted August 22, 2008 at 2:37pm

Comedian Al Franken (D) might be on the rebound in his bid against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), according to a new independent poll.

A Minnesota Public Radio and Humphrey Institute poll showed Franken leading Coleman, 41 percent to 40 percent, but well within the 3.6-point margin of error.

Independent candidate Dean Barkley, a former top aide to former Gov. Jesse Ventura (I), had 8 percent, and 11 percent were undecided. The survey questioned 763 likely voters from Aug. 7-17.

Coleman had led Franken outside the margin of error in other recent public polling. Franken, who is the endorsed candidate of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party but still faces a minimal primary challenge on Sept. 6, battled months of bad headlines because of controversies over his past comedic work and his incorrectly paid taxes.

Coleman’s campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, said that while poll numbers will rise and fall, the Senator is confident he will win in November.

“We’ve always expected this would be a close race, but the fact that Norm Coleman continues to have a wide lead among independents and is tied overall in a poll that leans so heavily Democratic is very encouraging,” Sheehan said.