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Minnesota Republicans want Michele Bachmann vs. Al Franken in 2014

A great politican comedian vs. a great unintentional politican comedian... it could be a lot of fun!
A great politican comedian vs. a great unintentional politican comedian... it could be a lot of fun!

Michele Bachmann for U.S. Senator? Believe it or not, new polling suggests Minnesota Republicans like the sound of that.

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-- Mark Dayton looks safe in 2014, according to Public Policy Polling

According to the latest Public Policy Polling survey, 45 percent of "usual Republican primary voters" in the state want Bachmann to challenge Al Franken in 2014. She's far and away the top choice -- second place is U.S. Rep. John Kline, the preferred candidate for 19 percent of MNGOPers.

In a surprising twist, Bachmann is the favored choice among those who identify as "very conservative" (46 percent), "somewhat conservative" (45 percent), and moderate (45 percent). Maybe moderates just want to see her take on Franken because it'll be highly entertaining, politics be damned?

Anyway, being the popular choice among Republicans doesn't necessarily mean Bachmann would have a chance against Franken. From PPP's poll summary:

The problem with GOP voters in the state wanting Bachmann as their Senate standard bearer is that she does the worst of anyone we tested against Franken, trailing him 54/40, including a 50/39 deficit with independents. Only 35% of voters in the state have a positive opinion of her, compared to 59% who see her in a negative light. The desire of Minnesota Republicans to nominate Bachmann suggests they didn't learn much from their failures last year.

Norm Coleman actually presents Franken with the toughest hypothetical matchup (Franken leads 50-44), but Coleman recently went on the record and said he has no interest in a 2008 rematch. Franken's second-toughest matchup at the moment is Kline, who trails 49-41.

Unfortunately for the MNGOP, the bottom line is that Franken is popular in Minnesota, and with an uninspiring batch of Republican candidates to choose from, he probably won't have too much trouble winning reelection. More from PPP:

Al Franken's in good shape heading into his reelection cycle. Our newest poll finds 52% of Minnesota voters approving of him to 41% who disapprove. Those solid numbers are pretty consistent with where we've found him for most of the last year...

It's early in the cycle but at least for now Al Franken does not appear to be among the more vulnerable incumbent Senators.


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