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Eye on the Senate: Our Updated Round-Up of Polls

Our latest round-up of Senate race polls includes a wild one from Minnesota where Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken are running neck-and-neck with … former Gov. Jesse Ventura lurking on the sidelines. And, in Oregon, Republican Gordon Smith in the lead, but by less than a comfortable margin for an incumbent. Plus, two safe Democrats in Iowa and Michigan.

**Minnesota:** First-termer Coleman, leads Franken by a bare 48 percent to 45 percent with 4 percent preferring other and 4 percent undecided, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted June 11. But should Ventura jump into the race as an independent, as he hinted on CNN and Minnesota Public Radio, Coleman would lead Franken 39 percent to 32 percent with Ventura drawing 24 percent. Coleman’s favorable vs. unfavorable figure is 51 percent to 45 percent, Franken’s is 46 percent against 50 percent, and Ventura’s is 36 percent compared to 62 percent. Sixty percent say Ventura shouldn’t run. Sixty-two percent of voters are attuned to the issue of Franken’s controversial writings earlier in his career. Forty-five percent said they’ve had no impact on their opinion of him, while 38 percent said they’d make it less likely that they’d vote for the former Saturday Night Live comedian. Eleven percent, though, must be old Franken fans because they say his past utterances would make it more likely they’d vote for him. In its May 22 poll, Rasmussen had Coleman 47 percent to 45 percent with a 4.5 percent margin of error. A Minneapolis Star Tribune poll in mid-May had Coleman ahead 51 percent to 44 percent with a 3.6 percent margin of error. CQ Politics rates this race “No Clear Favorite,” although if Ventura gets in, it may turn out to be our Favorite Race.

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