Posted at 2:57 PM on December 7, 2010
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: U.S. Senate
Public Policy Polling says Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the most popular of the 66 senators it has measured this year.
A recent survey of state voters found that Klobuchar is running 10 or more points ahead of several potential GOP challengers in her 2012 re-election bid. Klobuchar would beat outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty (53 to 43), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (56 to 39), former senator Norm Coleman (54 to 40), gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer (56 to 38) and Congressman Erik Paulsen (52 to 34).
Here's the full news release:
Amy Klobuchar is the most popular of 66 senators PPP has measured in
2010, and she won her first election to the Senate four years ago by 20 points. But that
was in a Democratic wave. With the closeness of the still-contested 2010 gubernatorial
race, and a generally more conservative electorate in the Midwest this year, Klobuchar
could draw a strong challenge in 2012. But even emptying the GOP bench, and in an
electorate in which Democrats barely outnumber Republicans, no one can come within
ten points of defeating Klobuchar in PPP's first test of that race.
Outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty comes closest, but Klobuchar still beats him, 53-43.
She could breathe easy if the Tea Party grassroots elevate one of their firebrands to the
nomination, leading Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, 56-39. And she would give
two victims of a recount a bigger run for their money than did Mark Dayton or Al
Franken. She is ahead of former senator Norm Coleman, 54-40, and likely defeated
gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, 56-38. Finally, she tops Congressman Erik
Klobuchar almost literally has the unanimous support of her party, getting 93-98% of
Democrats and losing only 1% to every one of the Republicans except Coleman, to
whom she only loses 3%. She also has leads of 17 (against Pawlenty) to 26 points
(versus Bachmann) with independents, and takes 6% (Pawlenty) to 11% (Bachmann and
Emmer) of Republicans.
At 59-29, Klobuchar's job approval rating and margin are the highest by six points over
those of the next most popular senator, Scott Brown of Massachusetts. By comparison,
colleague Al Franken sits at 45-42, and her most popular potential Republican opponent
is Coleman, at 43-42. Klobuchar earns the favor of 26% from the opposite party, very
unusual in this polarized climate. Bachmann is the least well liked overall, with a 37-51
favorability rating, just a hair worse than Emmer's 37-49. Paulsen breaks even at 22-22,
but 57% have no opinion of or have not heard of him.
"Amy Klobuchar is so popular President Obama may want to ride her coattails in 2012,"
said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.
PPP surveyed 949 Minnesota voters on December 4th and 5th. The survey's margin of
error is +/-3.2%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may
introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.