Minnesota Republicans want Norm Coleman vs. Mark Dayton in 2014

MNGOPers want to see these former U.S. Senators duke it out in 2014.
MNGOPers want to see these former U.S. Senators duke it out in 2014.

With a 53 percent approval rating, Mark Dayton looks like he'll be tough to beat in 2014. But as of right now, polling indicates Norm Coleman has the inside track to become the Republican who gets a shot to knock him off.

SEE ALSO: Minnesota Republicans want Michele Bachmann vs. Al Franken in 2014

The latest Public Policy Polling survey indicates Coleman is the preferred 2014 gubernatorial candidate for 57 percent of Minnesota Republicans, which makes him far and away the most popular choice. None of the other possible MNGOP candidates PPP included in the survey -- Keith "I See Dead People" Downey, David "Conflict of Interest" Hann, Jeff Johnson, Julie Rosen, Marty Seifert, and Kurt Zellers -- crack the 5 percent mark.

But Dayton easily takes care of Coleman in their hypothetical matchup by a 52-39 margin. In fact, the closest hypothetical race pits Dayton against none other than T-Paw, with Dayton ahead 50-42.

PPP's survey indicates that if the MNGOP thinks outside the box and goes with someone other than Coleman or T-Paw part deux, name recognition will be a big problem. From the survey summary:

None of the other Republicans we tested against Dayton- Kurt Zellers, Keith Downey, Julie Rosen, and Jeff Johnson- have greater than 33% name recognition. They all trail Dayton by margins greater than 20 points- Zellers and Downey each trail by 23 points at 52/29 and 53/30 respectively, Johnson trails by 24 at 53/29, and Rosen trails by 25 at 52/27. If any of these folks ended up as the candidate they'd likely get closer as their name recognition increased, but certainly Dayton would start out as a substantial favorite against any of them.

In other words, unlike his tenure in the U.S. Senate, expect Dayton to be around for a second term as governor -- unless, of course, something dramatic and unforeseen happens between now and November 2014.

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