Rasmussen poll: Sen. Coleman maintains slight edge

A new Rasmussen poll suggests that Sen. Norm Coleman holds a slight edge over his two top DFL challengers. The survey found that the incumbent topped Al Franken by a 49-42 margin, while holding a narrower 46-43 cushion over Mike Ciresi. The Rasmussen poll queried 500 likely voters and had a 4.5 percent margin of error. In other words, Coleman's lead over Ciresi is statistically insignificant.

The figures are largely unchanged from a similar survey conducted in September. Yesterday SurveyUSA released a poll showing that Coleman was in a dead heat with both potential challengers.

The Rasmussen survey also examined which challenger voters believed was more likely to knock off the incumbent. Ciresi was tapped by 37 percent of likely voters, while Franken was the choice of 30 percent. Despite the seemingly tough re-election campaign that Coleman faces next year, there was one positive sign for the Republican: 56 percent of voters expressed a favorable view of how he's handling the job.