Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coleman hurt by recount

More than half of Minnesota voters now have an unfavorable opinion of Norm Coleman following the protracted recount for his Senate seat, and it's harming his prospects for a future Gubernatorial campaign.

52% of voters in the state view Coleman negatively with 38% having a positive take on him. His numbers are predictably polarized with 72% of Republicans but only 10% of Democrats saying they like him, and independents split 49/37 against him as well.

Coleman trails two out of the three potential Democratic candidates we tested him against for Governor. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak led 43-37 and former Senator Mark Dayton led 41-39 while Coleman held the 42-34 advantage against House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

54% of respondents indicated that the way Coleman handled the recount made them less likely to support him in any future campaign, while 26% said it made them more likely to do so and 20% said it made no difference.

Coleman's relative competitiveness against the trio of Democrats we tested shows that it's not impossible that he could succeed in a future campaign, but it's never good when a politician trails someone with considerably less name recognition than him and there's not much doubt he's been hurt by dragging out the recount. You have to wonder how much better his future prospects would be if he had conceded in January and voters perceived him as taking the high road for the good of the state.

Full results here


Anonymous said...


You going to give us a hint as to how Obama, Pawlenty, and Palin are playing in Minnesota?

Anonymous said...

I suspect Obama has fallen dramatically from his 60% rating in your last MN poll. I suspect Pawlenty has fallen as well from his 46% rating.

AllenS said...

When a recount was announced, there was no way that Franken was going to lose. It's not how many votes you get, but who ends up counting the votes.

Minnesota Central said...

Considering the image hits that he took by protesting the recount, Coleman has some resilience and great opportunity for improvement.

Independent Voters will have a big impact on the 2010 Governor’s contest. First, the MN-GOP will have their supporters (including the MCCL and NRA members) out in droves making sure that Bachmann, Kline and Paulson as well as all the State Legislators retain their offices. After losing the Senate seat to Franken because enough fiscal conservatives spurned by Coleman’s TARP vote and opted for Barkley, they will not make the same mistake with a Coleman gubernatorial race. The DFL will have to fight to drive out the vote with no Presidential or US Senate race to bring people out (and with the five Congressional Democrats in safe seats.)
That leaves the Independents as the key.
Look at the poll data and how Independents viewed the candidates.
Coleman 37 Favorable 49 Unfavorable 13 Not Sure
Dayton 33 Favorable 37 Unfavorable 30 Not Sure
Rybek 33 Favorable 26 Unfavorable 41 Not Sure
Kelliher 17 Favorable 34 Unfavorable 49 Not Sure
The obvious observation is that Coleman is well known with only 13% of the people unsure. For the DFL candidates, their job is to convert the Not Sure into Favorables … which will be more challenging than for Coleman to whittle down his Unfavorables. The reason that Kelliher loses to Coleman is because people there are too many people that do not know her, not that Coleman is their choice.

All that said, this is a meaningless poll if the question is Who will be the next Governor.
First, I do not believe that Coleman can win the MN-GOP endorsing convention and with Bill Cooper on the Marty Siefert bandwagon and Brian Sullivan and Laura Brod sitting on the sidelines, it’s Siefert. Jim Ramstad or Coleman could challenge Siefert in the primary, but those hardcore Conservatives won’t let those “RINO”s get the nomination.
Second, Coleman lost to Independence Party candidate in a previous gubernatorial contest … and with the IP's Dean Barkley’s name on the 2008 Senate ballot cost Coleman votes (remember 63,209 McCain supporters did not want Coleman to get a second term.) Without any polling for the IP candidate, this is meaningless.

Web Statistics