Skip to content

Coleman Has Opened Up Lead in Minnesota

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) is sitting pretty this week after a Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll showed him leading all of his Democratic opponents.

In the survey, Coleman topped the likely Democratic nominee, comedian Al Franken, 51 percent to 44 percent, with 5 percent undecided. Coleman also led the less well-known Democratic candidate, anti-war activist Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, 53 percent to 38 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

Voters were also asked about attorney Mike Ciresi (D), who dropped out of the race earlier this year. Coleman led that matchup 51 percent to 43 percent with 6 percent undecided. Ciresi, however, dropped out of the race earlier this year.

The Minnesota Senate race promises to be one of the most hotly contested and negative campaigns of the cycle, with national groups on both sides planning to weigh in on the contest.

The poll, sponsored by the newspaper, was conducted May 12-15 among 1,117 registered voters and had a margin of error of 3.6 points.

This is one of the more commanding leads that Coleman has had over his opponents so far this cycle, compared to other publicly released polls. One explanation may be because Franken recently endured a month of negative headlines after it was revealed that his corporation’s taxes were filed incorrectly in two states and had to pay more than $30,000 in penalties. Most recently, Franken’s campaign also revealed that his personal income taxes had been filed incorrectly in 17 states, a mistake by his accountant that totalled about $70,000 in financial errors.

The Star-Tribune’s poll also asked 1,203 adults statewide about Franken’s tax problems. Of those surveyed, 23 percent said they were satisfied with the way Franken handled the situation, 42 percent said they were not satisfied, and 15 percent were not aware of the issue or did not have a response. The survey was conducted in early May and had a margin of error of 3 points.

— Shira Toeplitz