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December 20, 2014

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Franken is seeking re-election in Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Now Coleman’s hand-picked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.

“The atmosphere right now is pretty toxic,” Coleman said in a recent phone interview. “This is a time when it’s good to not be of Washington. Mike is part of a solution, and Franken is part of the problem.”

And just like Coleman’s race six years ago, the contest is expected to be much closer than originally predicted — though recent polls show Franken still holds an advantage.

 “We’re notorious for our close elections and we anticipate that this will be one of them,” said Carrie Lucking, the executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a leading Democratic player in the state.

Just months ago, many operatives predicted Franken would coast to re-election without a serious challenger. Both national and local media outlets noted several high profile Minnesota Republicans took a pass on the race.

Now, multiple strategists from both parties predict a 2-point race by Labor Day.

The shift is mostly due to McFadden’s surprise win at his party’s endorsement convention a month ago. His most serious primary challengers dropped out of the race after that — months before the Aug. 12 primary — making McFadden the de facto GOP nominee earlier than anticipated.

“The whole nature of this race changed dramatically just a couple of weeks ago when Mike got the endorsement,” said Coleman. “The endorsement was a game changer.”

Free of a taxing primary, McFadden can spend the summer honing his general election message and raising money to compete with Franken. His outright win caught Democrats off guard.

“[Franken’s] entire campaign strategy was based on … the primary,” said a senior Democratic strategist with ties to the state.

Since then, an automated public survey showed Franken with a single-digit lead. A Survey USA poll showed Franken leading by 6 points among likely voters in early June.

Democrats, meanwhile, have made it clear how they plan to win the tight race: attacking McFadden’s past career as out of step with Minnesota values. Sound familiar?

In 2008, Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and Air America Radio show host, weathered repeated attacks on his past work, including tax problems, drug history, and a 2000 satire piece he wrote for Playboy on sex robots.

Now Democrats plan to target McFadden’s work as an investment banker and co-CEO of Lazard Middle Market.

“Mike McFadden’s business dealings and putting profits over Minnesota jobs is going be a big problem for him,” said Justin Barasky, national press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, in an interview with Roll Call. “He reminds people of Mitt Romney.”

The McFadden campaign has addressed the charges proactively, hosting informational sessions with reporters to explain the difference between McFadden’s role as an investment banker and Romney’s job as a venture capitalist. Revelations that Franken owned a small stake in McFadden’s company further complicated the narrative.

“Democrats are wrong, and they don’t have the facts on their side,” said Tom Erickson, campaign communications director for McFadden.

Democrats, though, show no sign of relenting.

“You will hear from people who have been impacted by Mike McFadden,” said Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin in a June 24 interview with Roll Call.

While Democrats focus on McFadden’s background, Republicans say President Barack Obama’s shrinking popularity could give Franken the kind of problems Coleman experienced with then-President George W. Bush in 2008. A recent survey by the Democratic autodial firm Public Policy Polling showed Obama with a 44 percent approval rating in Minnesota, down from 50 percent in May of 2013.

Privately, Republicans appreciate the irony.

“Every sentence about Norm Coleman in 2008 was a verb, a noun and George W. Bush,” mused one former Coleman adviser.

Ben Golnik, former executive director of the Republican Party of Minnesota, said he thinks the Republicans’ goal in the state will be to nationalize the race as much as possible.

“As President Obama’s numbers have dropped, it’s gonna be harder for Franken to decouple himself from that,” Golnik said.

There’s one final parallel to 2008: These two candidates boast remarkable fundraising acumen and will draw enormous resources to the state. The 2008 Senate race marked the most expensive in the country that year.

Franken has already amassed a nearly $6 million war chest. McFadden has raised more than $2 million for his campaign so far, and local Republicans say he will raise enough to make the race competitive. He has not yet donated a significant amount to his own campaign, but has the resources to do so.

For Minnesota Republicans, McFadden’s fundraising prowess is a welcome change. The Minnesota Republican state party is weighed down by $500,000 in debt, and their 2012 nominee for Senate raised less than $1 million.

“We’ve got a guy who can raise millions, when sometimes our candidates can barely pay for enough gas in the tank to drive around the state,” said Brian McClung, a former top aide to former GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who later added he was not referring to a specific Republican candidate.

And though he wont be on the ballot, Coleman — chairman of the board of the American Action Network — is expected to play a recurring role in this race by using his sway with national Republicans to focus resources on the race.

“I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that [McFadden] wins,” said Coleman.


Related stories:

Al Franken Vs. the Unknown #MNSEN

Franken Feasts on Minnesota State Fair Menu Items (Video)

Senate GOP Bets on Jeff Larson to Help Ride to Majority in 2014

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  • MinnesotaCentral

    Let’s be frank here … there is no comparison to 2008.

    Norm Coleman lost … Al Franken did not win.

    Norm Coleman lost can be assigned to the “roots” of the TEA Party as illustrated by a Minnesota blogger post entitled – The Case For Throwing Senator Coleman Under The Bus — and the message : It’s high time we Conservatives started a “we’re as mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore” campaign against the RINOcracy, and the Coleman campaign is an ideal place to start it.

    So when voters showed up at their election booths, they knew that Obama was going to win the state’s Electoral College votes and more than likely the Presidency yet, 63,203 Minnesotans went ahead and vote for John McCain for President (MN tally was 1,275,409) but that did not fall through in the Senate contest in the Norm Coleman for Senate (1,212,206) …

    In 2008, the voters had three choices — a RINO, a Democrat or Dean Barkley, the man who replaced Paul Wellstone in the Senate as an Independence Party candidate. Barkley became the easy choice for the “anybody but Al or Norm” voter.

    Simply, Coleman did not get enough Republican support … he should have won.

    In 2014, there is no effort to throw Al Franken under the bus … in fact, more people that were concerned that he would not be a serious Senator, now realize that he has been professional in every way … plus he is hitting the issues that voters want to hear being discussed — student debt, lower prescription drug prices, job training, etc.

    Also, unlike in 2008, there is a Governor’s race … so Democrats will be working hard to avoid any ticket-splitting.

    Mike McFadden is an unknown … polling indicates that even Republicans have no idea who this guy is.

    The race will have “legs” because of the House contests … the Seventh where Collin Peterson is getting bashed by the GOP outside money and the Eighth where Stewart Mills III is evoking the NRA in every campaign message.

    IMO, Franken will not win the Seventh, but he will prevail in the Eighth.

    Funny thing about the polls, Franken finds 52% of Minnesota voters approving of him … not exactly a strong number and has not changed in two years … now, compare Franken’s numbers to Amy Klobuchar who has a 65% approval rating … a big dropoff … yet, if you look at votes and issues, Franken and Klobuchar share the same message.

    It just goes to show that the only hope the MN-GOP has to win the Senate seat is to slam Franken as “unlikable” … kinda funny for somebody who made money by proclaiming “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”

    • Marcus Lindroos

      > In 2008, the voters had three choices — a RINO, a Democrat or
      > Dean Barkley, the man who replaced Paul Wellstone in the Senate
      > as an Independence Party candidate. Barkley became the
      > easy choice for the “anybody but Al or Norm” voter.

      > Simply, Coleman did not get enough Republican support … he
      > should have won.

      Er, you have got this one exactly backwards!

      The Minn. Senate exit polls can be found here — http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=MNS01p1

      The 2008 presidential election results (for Minnesota) — http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=MNP00p1

      Comparing the results, one quickly notes that Minnesota conservatives were the LEAST LIKELY subgroup to support Barkley instead of their own party’s candidate!
      In fact, the closeness of the Senate race is largely attributable to the fact Coleman only lost moderates to Franken by four points (vs. -18 points for McCain!) while 13% of liberals voted for Barkley (in contrast, only 1% of liberals voted for a third party presidential candidate).

      Overall, the Barkley coalition was almost 23% liberal, 58% moderate and only 20% conservative.The overall composition of the 2008 Miin electorate was 26% lib, 44% moderate, 30% conservative. Little wonder, then, that Barkley almost spoiled the fun for Franken on election night…

      • daniel155

        You must be the same person that says that Perot took votes away from Clinton in 1992 and 1996 despite the fact that Clinton won red states that no Democrat had any business winning back then.

        Using your own figures, the conservatives and liberals are almost a wash and more than half of the moderates would have gone to Coleman rather than the ultra liberal Franken. A moderate that voted for Franken would be a different animal than one who would vote for Barkley. You assume too much. Moderates cannot be that monolithic. It is a contradiction in terms

        • Marcus Lindroos

          You know, I am really puzzled by your reply. A few points:

          > You even admit that Barkley took votes away from

          > Coleman. Coleman wins comfortably on election night

          > without Barkley in the race

          Of course he must have taken “some” votes away from the Republican candidate as well! But the stats (c/w with Obama overwhelmingly winning Minnesota the same night) strongly suggest Franken lost more votes.

          > Using your own figures from the CNN poll, the

          > conservatives and liberals are almost a wash

          “Almost”, but not quite. Note that self-described conservatives outnumbered liberals on election night, but more liberals (in relative as well as in absolute terms) defected to Barkley. The exit polls conclusively demonstrate this.

          > It is quite possible that more than half of the
          > moderates would have gone to Coleman rather
          > than the ultra liberal Franken.

          What on Earth makes you think so?
          We have a nice second data point on election night, namely, the Obama vs. McCain contest. Same state, same electorate, yet the results were quite different. Obama vs. McCain was a blowout, yet Franken vs. Coleman was a cliffhanger.

          The only logical conclusion is the Minnesota electorate in 2008 was fairly left leaning, but Coleman performed better because he did a better job wooing moderates and liberals than McCain did.

          Finally, note that more people voted in 2008 than in 2002 (almost 2.9 million vs. 2.25 million when Coleman won). This suggests that Coleman’s narrow win in 2002 had more to do with the fact Democrats were less likely to vote in an off-year midterm election.

          • daniel155

            To make it brief, the point is that we do not know what would have happened if Barkley had not have been in the race and your use of the CNN poll does not make your point.

            If we could make a large bet, I would bet that Coleman would have won but there is no way to prove it either way unless we both went back in time and altered events so that Barkley was not in the race.

            You are making a lot of subjective judgments and, I guess, so am I but I don’t mask it as fact by citing a poll that only marginally applies.

            Note that Barkley was a front candidate for Jesse Ventura. That is another factor that is not covered in the CNN poll you cite. You can’t tell what the effect of that was by simply looking at the numbers.

          • Marcus Lindroos

            > your use of the CNN poll does not make your point.

            > If we could make a large bet, I would bet that Coleman

            > would have won but there is no way to prove it

            Why?

            A few more exit poll tidbits not related to self-described ideology:

            1) Democrats outnumbered Republicans 39% vs. 36% in 2008. 13% of those Democrats voted for Barkley, who won 10% of the GOP vote.
            Who do you think benefited overall from this: Franken or Coleman??

            2) Among Minnesota 2008 voters, 25% at least somewhat approved of George W Bush’s performance while 73% somewhat or strongly disapproved. Barkley won 8% of these Bush supporters while he won 18% of the anti Bush vote.
            Who do you think benefited overall from this: Franken or Coleman??

            AT THE VERY LEAST, you (and “MinnesotaCentral”) have to concede that Coleman cannot blame his loss on Barkley “stealing” conservative/Republican protest votes… It’s a totally and utterly absurd conclusion!

            Especially since there is a very obvious explanation for the GOP loss: Coleman only narrowly managed to beat “Fritz” Mondale in a very good Republican year when Democrats were much less likely to vote. And he narrowly lost six years later, when the electorate was bigger and more liberal thanks to Obama.

            Really, is this so hard to grasp?

          • daniel155

            Who would have won a runoff?

          • James

            Coleman would have won, hands down. Republicans are more consistent voters in MN.

          • James

            Why is it hard for you to grasp that Barkley took Coleman’s independent vote? Look at the numbers, it’s a ‘duh’.

    • Chris

      Actually Coleman didn’t lose in 2008. He won on Election Day, he won on the first recount and would have kept winning into union minions of Franken’s stuffed enough ballot boxes to take the prize.

  • Elizabeth_Erwin

    If Franken can’t be defeated with the antics he has shown in D.C., we’re lost. He was one of the handful of senators that urged the IRS to start targeting Obama’s political opponents (I believe in writing); he was one of the few senators that urged Harry Reid to change the filibuster rules for the senate, (which hopefully McConnell will use with a vengeful attitude come 2015); and of course, along with 42 other senators he voted to allow Congress to decide what is appropriate political speech (which of course would be anything that helps to entrench existing sitting senators and representatives…. as long as their Democrats!) He should be soundly defeated. And there IS that Obamacare vote. MN is a state where Obama’s approval rating hovers in the mid-30%’s last time it was published. Get rid of Al.

    • NickP

      Is all you believe is writing?

      • James

        On the contrary, everything he mentioned is correct.

        • mb5599

          just because you argue with facts doesnt make you right……………………………

          • JERRE

            Brilliant deduction.

    • Vanbren5

      …and for this Franken will be heralded as a hero!!

      • Elizabeth_Erwin

        certainly will… by about 20% of the state’s voters… isn’t what he campaigned on doing though (“If you like your health plan you can keep it”). That one of Al is on youtube.

        • wicket

          For more accurate fact checking see NPR rather than YouTube.

          • Elizabeth_Erwin

            Because I would believe NPR over my own eyes? Franken is filmed saying “if you like your health care you can keep it.” Video is posted in the comments below.

          • wicket

            Back up and see if you can see the forest behind the tress. It is a big forest with only a few disgruntled trees apparently blocking your view. The vast majority are happy despite what tabloid TV is trying to brain wash you with.

    • wicket

      and give the job to a wealthy investment banker? Good one.

      • Elizabeth_Erwin

        Versus a wealthy comedian?

        • wicket

          Yes please. Comedians have not plunged our country into financial ruin. Wall street on the other hand almost destroyed us with their greed and dishonesty.

          • Elizabeth_Erwin

            Another low information voter who is clueless about what really happened. Wall Street passed off the risk in mortgages that Congress mandated the banks assume when it instilled huge quotas for lending to unqualified borrowers… why do you think that none of the bankers were ever brought up on charges? Because Washington (Democrats as well as Republicans) didn’t want them presenting actual evidence that they were acting to protect themselves from FNMA mandates. And at least republicans tried to put a stop to the disaster as early as 2005 but Democrats (specifically Barney Frank and Maxine Waters) wouldn’t let it stop. Even Barney has been filmed saying how wrong he was. But go ahead and keep thinking it was nothing more than the “evil investment bankers.” Rank stupidity is the downfall of this country.

          • Marlowe1

            Thanks! You saved me from writing the same comment.

  • Rita__A

    You have to be from Mn. to know that they will elect Franken again..He is loving his job, he can’t wipe the smirk off his face. The twin cities have elected these people over and over again, why, I DO Not Know! We are a very controversial state in so many ways.

    • James

      Franken is going to LOSE.

      • brickman

        Please provide evidence.

    • wicket

      Controversial?

  • Christophe

    “He reminds people of Mitt Romney.”

    Interesting attack considering a recent poll whose results indicate that a strong majority now believe the country would have been better under Mitt Romney.

    • James

      For those who know about the capital markets, there is a large difference between McFadden and Romney. Romney was very involved in turnarounds. Tough business that makes for bad stories. McFadden is middle market. Very few unhappy people.

      • wicket

        Yeah who doesn’t love a wealthy investment banker?

    • ej3

      The poll you talk about had 45% believing that the Country would be better under Romney. That’s two per cent less than the 47% he got in the election (47 seems to be Romney’s favorite number).

      • mb5599

        still more than obama’s approval rating now.

    • Vanbren5

      so PLEASE run Romney again, PLEASE

      • wicket

        Then suddenly Romney Care will become genius.

  • Levant1234

    Support Mike McFadden: http://www.mikemcfadden.com/

  • Raconteur

    By all means…hang Obama around Franken’s neck.

    Don’t forget…Franken’s was one the 60 Democratic U.S. Senate votes passing Obamacare into law.

    • mulp

      What is the Republican alternative? Death? Tax funded single payer?

    • wicket

      …and 22 million citizens are thankful…

      • JayfromBrooklyn

        Meanwhile, the rest of us hate it.

      • Marlowe1

        Where did you get that number? Less than 8M have signed up and only 40% have paid.

  • Hermes Mercury

    Franken will win with ease. MN like NJ is a constant mirage in the distance for the GOP. Only when Wellstone died after taking a lead outside the margin of error AND the GOP was able to whip up a firestorm over a slight that would never have happened if they had respected the deceased arch-liberal enough to stay away from his funeral were they able to get Coleman in. Like Elizabeth Warren, I suspect that Senator Franken will stay the “Honorable” as long as he wants to.

    And Ms. Erwin – I can only HOPE that you are correct. The Right has done nothing reasonable in 20 years and its not about to start now – so having it really genuinely lose, permanently – might allow a real conservative movement to arise without racism, homophobia, extremism and hatred. So indeed, I can only HOPE.

    • OBUMYA

      You can hope…but we are the change. Not the clowns you think will change like Obama and Franken. You can hope all you want, but Franken stole and election and Obama lied to get re-elected. You dont see it, and we dont care…MILLIONS of REAL Americans who WILL vote have and continue to see it. Its not the people, its the ideology and Frankenobama –the real monster– have the same mindless useless and dangerous ideology. End of story dude. Frankenobama is going down faster than his sex robots….

      • https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ Stupendous Man

        You’re either trolling or high. Perhaps both.

        • OBUMYA

          The fact that you dove in here to make a nonsensical comment indicates that you are high while you are trolling…Senator Franken, dont you have better things to do, like lick Obama’s boots?

        • James

          He is right, you are the troll.

    • Crutch

      It took two paragraphs to prove you are clueless.

    • tpaine1

      So balancing the federal budget (’95-’99) is not “reasonable” but hocking your children and your children’s children’s future with a TRILLION dollar additional debt is??

    • James

      BULL. Franken is going down, hard.

      The Democrats turned Wellstone’s wake into a rally. I have never seen anything so callous in my life.

      • brickman

        Franken’s poll numbers suggest otherwise unless you believe that math has a liberal bias.

  • Jerald

    Franken stole that election in 2008.

    Anyhow, this race will tighten up. With close to a million low information obama voters staying home because they vote on race, it will be interesting to see if Franken can hold on.

    • Chris

      Stole? that election – No, CHEATED to take the prize. Coleman was up after election day and the first recount but Franken did what algore did – keep counting and recounting until enough fraudulent votes are stuffed into ballot boxes to affect the outcome they wanted, then shut it down.

      • Jerald

        Disgrace to democracy. Thinks of the crazy events that led to obamacare.

        US Attorney launching a fraudlent indictment and prosecution of Ted Stevens who lost because of it.

        Al Franken cheating and stealing an election.

        Arlen Spector flipping to the democrats.

    • Marcus Lindroos

      > With close to a million low information obama voters staying home
      > because they vote on race

      Er, in snow white MINNESOTA of all places…?

      You do know the Minnesota electorate in 2008 was 90% white, don’t you?
      Apparently not.

      • daniel155

        Minnesota was somewhat tarnished by this. Recounts are not just simply recounting the votes. It is a game that can be won or lost and Democrats are better at playing the recount game.

        Can you name a Republican candidate that trailed before the recount but came back to win after the recount. I can name a lot of Democratic candidates who did that.

        • UNCLE

          As Stalin said (paraphrase) “it’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes”

        • Marcus Lindroos

          Jerald • a day ago
          >>> because they vote on race

          I responded:
          >> Er, in snow white MINNESOTA of all places…?

          daniel155:
          > Your comment about the Minnesota electorate being
          > white sounds vaguely racist

          My comment was nowhere near as inane as “Jerald’s” factually inaccurate cheap shot, though.

          If he wants to peddle the old GOP racist trope about Democrats basing the voting preferences on race, he needs to find a better example than Minnesota.

        • wicket

          Go ahead and name them. Or you can just follow Florida Republican Jeb Bush’s lead and just exclude citizens the right to vote.

          • daniel155

            Here are some:

            John Durkin D-NH Senate 1974
            Frank McCloskey D-IN House 1984
            Christine Gregoire D-WA Governor 2004
            Al Franken D-MN Senate 2008

            Now you name some Republicans that trailed BEFORE the recount and overtook the Democrat after the recount. I bet you can’t do it.

          • wicket

            Wow, 4 is “a lot”? Either you have been bitter since 1974 or Google got a work out. Franken however does not belong in your little group because once the votes were properly counted he did not “trail”, as Coleman eventually had to concede.

          • daniel155

            I was right. You could not do it.

            You asked me for names and I provided them. Then I asked you for names and you provided nothing except a weak technicality that makes no sense. So you are not acting in good faith so no point in corresponding with you any further.

            Have a great life or whatever you can manage.

          • wicket

            Oh snap. I imagine you think that putting a few combative words into a sentence will camouflage the fact that you could not respond on the actual subject. Undoubtedly it a few were confused.

          • daniel155

            I was right. You could not do it.

            You asked me for names and I provided them. Then I asked you for names and you provided nothing except a weak technicality that makes no sense. So you are not acting in good faith so no point in corresponding with you any further.

            Have a great life or whatever you can manage.

      • Elizabeth_Erwin

        I doubt the unions will come out in support of Franken this time. Obama’s approval in the state of MN is in the mid-30′s.

        • Marcus Lindroos

          > Obama’s approval in the state of MN is in the

          > mid-30′s.

          Sounds really scary, until you figure out his job DISAPPROVAL is no higher than 40% as well –

          http://www.startribune.com/politics/245444381.html

          • Elizabeth_Erwin

            yeah, cause all those NEUTRAL voters are going to show up in droves… to a midterm election! Especially when, historically with a president at or below 45% approval his party takes a bath.

          • Elizabeth_Erwin

            Not to mention… even Al Franken stayed away from Obama when he was recently in the state of MN…

        • wicket

          Do you think they will come out to support the wealthy investment banker?

          • Elizabeth_Erwin

            More importantly the Franken team expects the race to be within two points by Labor Day. As to the unions, I think its entirely possible they’ll simply stay home.

          • wicket

            God I hope they are smarter than that.

          • Elizabeth_Erwin

            That’s exactly why they WILL stay home. He has done nothing for them at all.

          • wicket

            God I hope they are smarter than that.

      • Jerald

        Never underestimate the white voters guilty conscience, especially in the 18-25 bracket.

  • A mother

    Franken is ONLY for the Democratic Party and NOT the AMERICAN PEOPLE. His record is clear and He is a big part of why Washington cannot work.

    • wicket

      The Democratic Party is the only one for the AMERICAN PEOPLE. The GOTP is only for the very, very, very wealthy (hello Mike McFadden). Don’t be a chump. The longer you support that party the more you secure your children’s long life of repeating the question “Would you like fries with that?”

  • OBUMYA

    If I were part of the MN GOP, I would begin creating posters that resemble Frankenstein’s Monster with a face half Obama and half Franken and call it Frankenbama. Its humorous and makes the point…they are one in the same, and horrific for America.

    • wicket

      Or if you want to scare people how about McFadden posters merely entitled ‘Wealthy Investment Banker’? Enough said.

      • OBUMYA

        Gosh golly gee so u must hate Hillary who is now worth as much as Romney as well as Tom styer for making his billions from non green fossil fuels?

        We now wait for the admission if being a hippo-crest!! God it must hurt to see Obama as a Greek god in Colorado in 2008 and an unwelcome Greek tragedy today!!

        • wicket

          I’ll leave the “hating” to you. You appear to be more accomplished than I.

          • OBUMYA

            Brilliant come-back.

            Does your woman know you are impotent? Typical liberal, all boom, no bang….biiiig talker, address him and he runs like his Coward Lord, Obama…the Big Loser of America.

          • wicket

            I rest my case. Too bad your passion is not directed at something constructive rather wasted on hostility…

  • prosecutor1

    As part of his campaign strategy, Franken already has a number of votes locked up . . . . in the trunk of several cars by the way.

  • Chris

    Good to see Norm Coleman wants to get revenge on Cheating Franken. Every single quote from Coleman is about defeating Franken. Good! Franken’s used to making jokes on other people and of course stuffing ballot boxes during recounts, come Election Day chances are good he won’t be laughing at Senator McFadden.

    • wicket

      Where do you get such silliness?

  • Chris

    Minnesota – You only have 1 legally elected Senator, isn’t it time to elect Mike McFadden and get a second like the other 49 states.

  • brickman

    What a bs story. Franken will win easily. The article sites a poll with a 6 point Franken lead but never mentions a more recent poll with
    Franken +11.Why not? Is this article to inform the public or is it a political hit piece to boost the GOP candidate. I’ve seen similar pieces regarding the supposed rise of GOP candidates in OR and VA. They turned out to be hoakum. This one is too. Remember reading about how Minnesota was going for Romney in 2012. I do. This is the same crap.They think that they wish it and make it happen.

    • UNCLE

      You’re pretty confident, are the needed votes in YOUR car trunk this time?

      • brickman

        I see this type of story all the time. I even remember the same story about Amy Klobuchar. Who it was said was vulnerable because Obama’s numbers were dropping.It’s bs that costs the writers of the story nothing. Who was fired for predicting Romney was going to win?

        • daniel155

          You have a point but to fair shouldn’t they discontinue the articles that build up the chances of Democratic challengers such as Alison Lundergan Grimes, Michelle Nunn, Wendy Davis etc etc.

          • brickman

            Davis IS toast but Grimes and Nunn have been within 1 or 2 points for most of the last 6 months. Nunn is currently ahead of Kingston in polls.Grimes is down about 2% . McFadden is down by 10.7% in Real Clear Politics poll of polls. Like Wendy Davis.As I said this story is bs.

          • daniel155

            Nunn is polling that well before an actual Republican candidate is named. Grimes support dropped off after McConnell won his primary.

            But we will see this November.

          • brickman

            Grimes is leading in three current polls , trails McConnell in a plurality of them by 1% and trails in polls of polls by less than 3%.Nunn leads Kingston although she trails Perdue, who trails Kingston in the Runoff poll. When McFadden is within 3% of Franken, call me. Until then I’ll call this article the bs that it is.

          • mabramso

            According to RCP (who publishes pretty much all the polls), the polls since their respective primaries (which is all that matters):
            GA: Rasmussen, 5/21-5/22: Nunn+6 (day after primary)
            SurveyUSA, 6/3-6/5: Kingston+6
            KY: Wenzel (R), 5/23-5/24: McConnell+3
            Rasmussen, 5/28-5/29: McConnell+7
            Magellan (R), 6/4-6/5: Grimes+3

            So, pick your poison. If we disregard Rasmussen because they were SO bad last election, we have Kingston+6 and 2 polls by GOP pollsters (who were notoriously bad) showing a wash.

            And that’s where I suspect the races are. Nunn is not going to win in GA because (1), the GOP actually did something smart in the primary, and (2) Nunn really isn’t that good of a candidate. Grimes will win if the GOP doesn’t show up on election day. She is a better candidate than Nunn, but she lives in a much redder state.

          • brickman

            I’m not suggesting that Nunn and Grimes are going to win, but that the races are close. The MN Senate race is not. This article is of the type that I referred to earlier that is propaganda not journalism.

            BTW RCP does not publish all the polls. Go to Huffington Post if you want to see 23 polls on Grimes v. McConnell.

          • mabramso

            Fair enough, but I think all 3 races will move in the GOP direction as we get closer to the election. If I had to guess, I would say McConnell wins by 3-5 points, Kingston wins by 6-8, and Franken wins by 4-6. But who knows.

          • wicket

            Thank god, finally some facts beyond all this “We’re still mad that Coleman lost” falderal.

        • James

          Who EVER said that Amy was “vulnerable”? That would have been incredibly stupid.

          • brickman

            I’m from NJ, so I don’t know who Dan Severson is. But him.There was also an article using the generic term Republicans ( like this article used the term strategists to suggest this race would tighten) http://www.mprnews.org/story/2012/06/03/minn-senate

          • James

            I don’t see Dan’s name in the article.

          • brickman

            Saw somewhere else, didn’t remember where. I’m from NJ .How would I even know his name, ifI didn’t see it somewhere try
            wwwmprnews.org/…/any-klobuchar-opponents-dan-severson-joe-arwood-anthony-hernandez

          • brickman
  • daniel155

    Norm Coleman actually lost the 2008 Minnesota Senate race three times. Dean Barkley, the sitting senator appointed by Jesse Ventura, ran and took about fifteen percent of the vote. Many of those votes would have gone to Coleman.

    Then there were adjustments to the vote total that reduced Coleman’s lead to the point that it could be overturned by a recount which it was.

    Recounts are not simply a matter of recounting the votes. They are a continuation of the campaign and they are a game that can be won or lost. Democrats are simply better at playing the recount game.

    There are many cases where a Republican lead before the recount and the Democrat won but I know of no cases where a Republican trailed before the recount and won the recount.

    Can anyone help on this?

    • Marcus Lindroos

      > Dean Barkley, a former senator appointed by Jesse Ventura, ran and
      > took about fifteen percent of the vote. Many of those votes would have
      > gone to Coleman.

      As I have conclusively shown elsewhere, this is merely another right wing myth.

      Exit polls conclusively indicate liberals and moderates were more likely to vote for Barkley, as attested by the closeness of the Senate election result although those very same Minnesota voters favored lefty Barack Obama over McCain in a 54% vs 44% landslide!

      • daniel155

        As I pointed out elsewhere, you made too many subjective judgments from the CNN exit poll that you cite. McCain got 60,000 plus votes more that Coleman did. It is more likely that most of those votes would have gone to Coleman rather than Franken had Barkley not been in the race particularly since you note that McCain was getting crushed.

        Those McCain voters were most likely to be the die hard Republicans. It would be unlikely that many would vote for Franken.

        But can you name a Republican candidate who trailed before the recount but came back to win after the recount?

        • Marcus Lindroos

          > McCain got 60,000 plus votes more that Coleman did. It
          > is more likely that most of those votes would have gone
          > to Coleman

          Sorry, but you are making an utterly RIDICULOUS argument:-)

          After all, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA got more than THREE HUNDRED SIXTY THOUSAND more votes than Franken did! What do you think explains this much greater discrepancy, then?!?!

          Really, you’d be more convincing if you merely tried to argue Franken and his minions (Acorn or whatever) “stole” the election.

          • daniel155

            You are getting a little testy there but to keep it brief, I will ask you this:

            Who do you think would have won a runoff if there had been one?

          • View From The Left

            With the people of MN knowing the Franken would be the 60th Vote for a filibuster-proof Senate for President Obama? They would have voted for Franken IN A HEARTBEAT!

  • tufluv

    Franken is the poster boy of what’s wrong with the Senate. He’s one of too many clowns there.

  • tpaine1

    Franken is a comedian that will cost the nation’s taxpayer’s BILLIONS by continuing the ObamaCon monstrosity. Go ahead Minnesota, vote the comedian back in, but the joke’s on YOU!!

    • wicket

      22 million beg to differ.

  • hep pep

    Bye bye Franken! Over 57% of Minnesota rejected you the first time when Obama won by double digits. In 2014 when there will be a GOP wave, you will be washed away!

  • jrcowboy49

    Franken is a loser and a idiot!

  • nospamformo

    You wrote “Franken will face a wealthy investment banker”. Didn’t you mean to write “McFadden will face a wealthy entertainer”? Or is $8M not wealthy enough compared to Clinton-level wealth?

    • wicket

      Get serious. Neither of them are anywhere near the same category as the greedy Koch boys or the rest of the self serving Billionaires (‘the job creators’ – lol!)

      • OBUMYA

        You. Mean. Like: styer or soros or Hollywood? I guess there is liberal rich and everybody law is evil?

        (Cue cricket chirp)

        • wicket

          (The sound of your mind closing???) Motivation is the key. Who spends for the good of the planet and it’s people and who spends to multiply their personal bank account? It is not tricky but Fox will not cover it. Try NPR.

      • nospamformo

        Huh. Didn’t know that we were talking about the Koch brothers. I thought we were discussing the wealth of McFadden and Liberal Democrat Al Franken. Did I miss something, or are you trying to change the subject?

  • foreseer2

    Mike McFadden is another wealthy Republican businessman with no political experience, who didn’t even bother to vote in past Minnesota primary elections. What a good example of American citizenship! Norm Coleman claims that he was part of the solution. It takes a self-serving former politician like Norm, who changed parties and politics to suit the political climate toward know-nothing conservativism to pick this guy as a solution? Since when have Republicans offered solutions>? They are only equipped to criticize policy, not make it.

  • Gagmewaspoon

    “He reminds people of Mitt Romney.” That may not be a bad thing. A recent poll showed that 45% of the people now say the country would have been better off with Romney as president compared to 38% who said Obama.

  • Gagmewaspoon

    Then there’s the YouTube video of Franken saying “People who are happy with their plan wouldn’t need to change it.” McFadden should just run that as an ad and be done with it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCZmAYYNz8I

  • Doc Lakes

    Derzhavin seemed correct to have praised the keen vision of those great monarchs who forbade the immigration and travel of the clever robbers [Jews] into their realm.

  • newguy68

    Franken cheated his way to the Senate. He shouldn’t even be there.

  • bflat879

    Coleman will do everything he can for McFadden to win. There’s only one problem, the Democrats are willing to steal it, are the Republicans? If you’re not willing to steal it, you’d better do everything in your power to make sure the Democrats can’t steal it again.

  • wesmouch

    Comrade
    I would like to point out that Franken is wealthy also. Somehow you forgot to mention that. Plus he won the Coleman race by ballot box stuffing thanks to the DFL (drunks,fools,losers) as the Democrats are known in this left wing loon of a State . Side joke: what do you call an alcoholic, former mental patient who turned a large fortune into a small one: in Minnesota we call him Governor Dayton.

  • wesmouch

    Minnesotans are proud of Stuart Smalley Senator. That says it all.

  • teapartyidiots

    Franken has good approval ratings.

  • Mister Tariff

    This article is pretty decent analysis of the current state of the race. Certainly Franken is favored, and if the overall election in 2014 goes slightly for the Republicans (+3-5 Senate Seats) Franken is going to win easy. But if the day is ablowout nationally for the Republicans it will likely have Franken as one its victims. (along with WV, Montana, SD, Louisiana, NC, Alaska, Iowa and Colorado) Minnesota is somewhat similar to New Hampshire, it leans slightly to the left but also blows back and forth with the nation as a whole. Oregon and New Hampshire will go Democrat even if 2014 is a blowout for Republicans.

  • JayfromBrooklyn

    ” the contest is expected to be much closer than originally predicted ”

    Now what does that even mean? We predict that our prediction will be false?

    • woodt

      Yes, It’s better to say you where wrong then to continue to stay the course if evidence is suggesting otherwise.

      • JayfromBrooklyn

        In this case they are not changing the prediction, just predicting that the prediction will change.

  • G26

    To thrive over time, we should adhere to the moral standards and practices upon which the oaks of liberty grew strong in the first place.

  • SemperFi1946

    Can Franken come up with another 200 “miracle votes from somewhere” to steal another election? The Dems know how to get those inner city votes in key precincts, with dead voters, illegals, homeless and people that “vote early and vote often” as they say in Chicago. That is why they are opposed to someone showing an ID before voting – they have been the recipients of voter fraud in key large cities since the 1860s.

  • ej3

    The recount of the last race included votes for the lizard people. It looks like this one features a Lazard person. I’m wondering if McFadden will expound on his employer’s religious beliefs– which I’m sure is rooted in today’s version of the golden calf.

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