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New poll finds Franken leading Republican challengers

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Democratic Sen. Al Franken is leading his two closest Republican challengers by 8 percentage points each in a new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, KSTP says.

The poll finds Franken leading both state Sen. Julianne Ortman and St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg by identical 49 percent to 41 percent margins. The leading Republican fundraiser, businessman Mike McFadden, trails Franken by a 50 percent to 40 percent margin, the survey says.

Among Independent voters, Franken trails the top three Republican contenders by an average margin of 44 percent to 42 percent.

The poll shows as many as 10-15 percent of the voters are undecided, KSTP says.

The KSTP/SurveyUSA poll was conducted Feb. 25-27 among 545 registered voters across the state, KSTP says. Done through landline and cell phones, the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

The poll follows a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last month that gave Franken a 55 percent approval rating, matching the high-water mark he reached in another poll in June.

The survey, however, also found a growing disapproval rating of 34 percent, up from 29 percent in June, the Star Tribune said.

Democrats gave Franken a 97 percent approval rating, while Republicans disapproved of the job he was doing by 71 percent, the Star Tribune said.

Among Independents, 42 percent disapproved of the job he's doing, while 38 percent approved.

Franken won the 2008 election over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman by 312 votes in recount and ballot inspection that lasted seven months.

While the local polls appear to favor Franken, a new Washington Post/ABC survey isn't as favorable for Democrats. The national survey finds in the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats.

In addition, the poll finds only 22 percent of the people surveyed who were inclined to re-elect their representatives in Congress, and 68 percent are inclined to look around for someone new.

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