Senate Forecast 10/30: Minnesota Slipping

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 15:15

Current Projection: Democratic Pickup of 7 seats

Republican Held: Democratic Pickups 7
State Type Democratic Republican D Cash Margin Polls
D Pickups
Virginia Open Warner Gilmore 2713% D +29.9 7
New Mexico Open T. Udall Pearce 542% D +19.0 2*
Colorado Open M. Udall Schaffer 364% D +12.5 2
Alaska Incumbent Begich Stevens 63% D +8.0 1**
New Hamp. Freshman Shaheen Sununu 49% D +6.0 5
Oregon Incumbent Merkley Smith 51% D +2.7 3
North Carolina Freshman Hagen Dole 51% D +2.0 7
R Holds
Minnesota Freshman Franken Coleman 70% R +1.3 3
Georgia Freshman Martin Chambliss 8% R +3.0 4
Kentucky Incumbent Lunsford McConnell 22% R +3.7 3
* - No recent polls from New Mexico
** = Only post-conviction poll included.

Republican Held, Uncompetitive Republican Locks (13): Alabama (Sessions), Idaho (Open, Risch) Kansas (Roberts), Maine (Collins), Mississippi-A (Cochran), Mississippi-B (Wicker), Nebraska (Open, Johanns), Oklahoma (Inhofe), South Carolina (Graham), Tennessee (Alexander), Texas (Cornyn), Wyoming-A (Barrasso), Wyoming-B (Enzi)

Democratic Held: Democratic Losses, 0
State Type Democrat Republican Dem Cash Margin Polls
Dem Lead Losses: 0
New Jersey Incumbent Lautenberg Zimmer 194% D +7.5 2

Democratic Held, Uncompetitive Democratic Locks (11): Arkansas (Pryor), Delaware (Biden), Illinois (Durbin), Iowa (Harkin), Louisiana (Landrieu), Massachusetts (Kerry), Michigan (Levin), Montana (Baucus), Rhode Island (Reed), South Dakota (Johnson), West Virginia (Rockerfeller)

Methodology and analysis in the extended entry.

Chris Bowers :: Senate Forecast 10/30: Minnesota Slipping
All of the polls included in the averages had all of their interviews conducted in the last 13 days (October 17th). The only exceptions are campaigns where two polls did not meet that criteria. Every pollster only has one poll per average. Polls from before September are not included. Campaigns in where the incumbent party leads by double digit margins are considered "locks" and not shown in detail.

Starting on Thursday, the range of dates for included polls will drop by one per day. So, that means 13 days ago on Thursday, 12 days ago on Friday, 11 days ago on Saturday, etc. The final Senate projection on Election Day will target the same date range and methodology as the Presidential forecast.

Alaska becomes a safe pickup due to the Stevens conviction, but Minnesota moves into "Republican Hold" and Mississippi-B becomes "Safe Republican." With eight pickups needed in order to secure The Employee Free Choice Act, one of the four progressive positive feedback loops (media reform, election reform and immigration reform are the other three), is in trouble. We need to win Georgia (run-off likely), Kentucky (not likely) or Minnesota (still very doable). Of course, we also need to hold onto North Carolina and Oregon.

It is going to be tight. I don't want the battle over the Employee Free Choice Act to come down to the Georgia Senate run-off. Let's win Minnesota now. Al Franken is on the Better Democrats page.  

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MN may be where we progressives screwed up (0.00 / 0)
I have a feeling that Mineesota could have been like Oregon where the "gerenic Democrat" can beat the incumbent. Franken, for better or worse, is it. I'm beginning to regret this choice.

Has Franken asked for Obama's help? (4.00 / 2)
I'd love to see an Obama/Franken ad in Minnesota, just like the Obama/Merkley ad in Oregon, especially given Obama's big lead in the polls there. If Obama were smart, he'd schedule a campaign stop with Al Franken and cut an ad to help him get over the line. Because Obama's coattails are Franken's best chance to finish strong.

[ Parent ]
Franken has been using the bail out vote (0.00 / 0)
against Coleman, how does that play with Obama? Not that politicians can't manage to ignore particular issues as they see fit.  Many Democrats are doing well in MN, including Obama, look to Franken for answers as to why he is not.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Yeah, it seems that we did... (0.00 / 0)
...I don't know why, but people in Minnesota seem to really hate him...  I don't get it, really...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

[ Parent ]
I'm gonna vote for Franken (0.00 / 0)
But I can let you in on some background.

Franken upset the DFL muckity-mucks because he is an outsider and his campaign is heavily funded from outside the state.  He also upset them because he was able to beat them twice - once at the caucuses and once in the primaries.  It has hurt him that a few of the "top-shelf" DFLers were rather out-spoken about his comedy skits and other "off color" writings.  Their comments have been played for all they are worth by the Coleman campaign.

His campaign has been lack-luster, to say the least. He completely failed to get out in front of the issues that Coleman has used to paint him as a foul-mouthed, bitter, person who can't even manage to pay his taxes, or organize his businesses. He has offered no substantive counter-point to these arguments, other than to attack Coleman for being supportive of Bush.  Franken let his opponent define him and he has never recovered from that mistake.

Apparently, his campaign thought that being negative about Coleman was enough to win, let's hope they turn out to be correct.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I agree, SpitBall (0.00 / 0)
Al got my vote ... reluctantly. I was a Jack N-P supporter, and Al has been a disappointment. Another in a long line of suspect choices by the DFL leadership.  

[ Parent ]
I liked Pallmeyer, the more I listened to him (0.00 / 0)
Don't know how he'd play with the economy as the main issue, but I think he might have been a more effective campaigner.  

I admit, I was biased toward Franken from before he entered the race.  That only compounds my disappointment at his seeming lack of political acumen.  I think he took care of the "carpet-bagger" issue well enough, but either he misunderestimated Coleman, or he missed the basic element of a campaign: you cannot allow your opponent (especially one as mud-happy as Norm)to define you for any length of time. The sad part is that it appears that Franken settled those issues and had actually over-paid taxes as well. He failed to turn that to his advantage.

Of course, we can't overlook the excellent performances by Dean Barkley in every debate I have heard. He toasts both of them.  My hope is that between Obama and the anti-Bachmann vote, we'll get some help for Franken.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Quick Hit (4.00 / 1)
I just posted a "quick hit" on a breaking story about Coleman suing Franken for defamation this afternoon. That's right, Coleman suing Franken. The nerve of this idiot.

Given Coleman's larger lead in recent days, I'm wondering if might be trying to distract people before something bigger comes down. He can claim partisan politics in response to his lawsuit.  

can't forecast this race based on the polls (0.00 / 0)
I know the polls are just about all we have, but the polling of this race has been consistently all over the map (if that's possible). Rasmussen and the Star Tribune poll, for two examples, have both flipped back and forth. Add to that the 3rd-party candidate, Dean Barkley, polling up to 15-18%, and it's really anybody's guess as to how this is going to turn out. You could tell me that Franken will lose by 5 or win by 5, or anything in between, and I would believe you.

My gut reaction based on voter conversations in the field and the general feel of the race is that Coleman is slipping, not the other way around, and he's probably going to lose. The lawsuit he filed today is a desperate measure and it draws attention back on one of his biggest vulnerabilities.

This race is a true Toss-Up, all the way to the end, and I don't know that it makes sense to put it as a Leaner one way or the other (although Nate Silver, FWIW, still likes Franken.)

New Coleman money scandal could give Franken late boost (0.00 / 0)
One poll. (0.00 / 0)
   And the dogs are out to get Franken.  And what happens if Franken is up in the next poll?  Back on the bandwagon again?  Fair weather Franken fans.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

two polls (4.00 / 1)
both showing Coleman gaining.

It seems that as support for Barkley drops, Coleman would gain more than Franken. That makes sense, because third-party candidates often poll better than they do on election day.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Minnesota is a bit different. (0.00 / 0)
In most places third-party candidates often poll better than they do on election day.  In Minnesota, however, support for third parties tends to be a bit firmer, and they even outperform the polls on occasion.

Makes me wonder what Barkely would be like in the Senate ;).

Many of the mistakes mentioned above from Franken seem to be typical "rookie politician" mistakes.

[ Parent ]
LOL This cracked me up! (0.00 / 0)
Best laugh I've had in a couple days ... the footnote:

"** = Only post-conviction poll included."


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