A new poll suggests Gov. Mark Dayton has solid support mid-way through his first term as he launches what are likely to be bruising battles over the state budget.
The Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday says 53 percent of voters back the DFL governor's job performance, and 39 percent disapprove. Among Republicans, 14 percent approve of Dayton's performance.
The group surveyed 1,065 Minnesota voters and 275 usual Republican primary voters Jan. 18 to 20.
Among Republicans polled, 57 percent said their preferred candidate to challenge Dayton was former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman. No one else got more than 5 percent. In a hypothetical matchup, Dayton beats Coleman 52 to 39, the poll said.
The firm's polling this week also showed incumbent DFL Sen. Al Franken with solid support.
MPR notes that PPP is a "Democratic-friendly" pollster, although the New York Times blog that tracks pollster performance reported that PPP had a Republican bias in the previous presidential election.