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Poll: Minnesotans Want Senate Race Resolved

A new independent poll brings more bad news for former senator Norm Coleman (R): a strong majority of Minnesotans want him to concede his race against Democrat Al Franken.

Sixty-three percent of Minnesota voters think Coleman should step aside and a nearly-equal 59 percent believe Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) should sign the election certificate formally declaring Franken the winner.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh, N.C.-based firm that conducts automated polling. (In other words, take it cum grano salis.)

Nonetheless, the numbers come at a tough time for Coleman as he seeks to keep the Republican establishment behind his ongoing legal fight in the wake of a unanimous ruling against him by a three-judge state panel earlier this week.

Democrats are growing increasingly aggressive in calling on Coleman to step aside. The Democratic National Committee is sponsoring a radio ad to that effect in the Minneapolis-St. Paul media market and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine said on Tuesday that "it's time for Norm Coleman to concede and for Al Franken to be sworn in as the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota." Kaine urged Pawlenty to sign the election certificate even if Coleman won't step aside. (Worth noting: The DNC ad buy is beyond paltry and aimed at getting free media attention in Washington rather than persuading voters in Minnesota.)

As we've written before, the political futures of Coleman and Pawlenty are entwined in what comes next in this race. Stay tuned.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 15, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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You have all missed the point, as different standards were used to determine the acceptance of absentee votes. All the decisions made by canvassing board and supported by the MN Supreme Court favored Franken. If you lived in large counties favoring Franken the absentee ballots were accepted. However, a different standard was applied when the county was a republican stonghold. The witness' signature on almost 5,000 ballots could swing it back to Coleman. Bush v. Gore sets the legal precedent, this is why Coleman is pursing. I didn't vote for either of these idiots, but if you are fairminded, then let's use the same standards so this doesn't continue to be an issue in close elections!

Posted by: nielsctt | April 19, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"the political futures of Coleman and Pawlenty are entwined in what comes next in this race."

Yes, by involving himself in Coleman's game of dog-in-the-manger, Pawlenty increasingly runs the risk of being viewed as a co-conspiritor against Minnesotans' representation. What other state's populace would have meekly suffered so long in silence with half as many Senators as Pawlenty's brood?

It's not an auspicious image for someone who aspires to win state office again, let alone to claim the top spot on the Republican presidential ticket.

Posted by: FirstMouse1 | April 16, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: sm98yth | April 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

It probably went something like this:

"Hello, Norm? GOP here. Sorry about the loss last November. Yeah, norm, you lost. You know it, we know it, everybody knows it. You put up a helluva fight, for sure, but you lost. Face it, Norm -- you got beat by a comedian. And that's after getting beat by a wrestler. The time you did win, it's because the other guy died. Forget about it, Norm -- it's Minnesota.

"So here's the problem. We almost all got the tar beat out of us last November. We got taken apart by -- oh hell, what are we calling him this week? Socialist? Fascist? Secret Muslim? -- anyways, it was You Know Who, and all of his slimy evil liberal friends. The voters -- well, most of 'em -- didn't behave like the herd of stupid cattle we always assume them to be. Instead, they woke up, realized what a disaster we've been, and hosed us.

"So now You Know Who and his allies have this idea that they're actually going to DO something about the catastrophic mess we've made, and we can't have that. We need to stall them, block them, and make them fail. It'll be bad for the country, but so what? The country voted us out, and it's not like we really ever gave a damn about those sheep, anyways. To hell with them. We don't work for THEM.

"Here's where you come in, Norm. We need to hog-tie the Senate, and that means not letting the comedian take your seat. So we need YOU to fight the election results as long as humanly possible. Do what you have to do, guy -- lawyers, paperwork, more lawyers, more paperwork, shadow puppets, whatever.

"It'll kill your career and your reputation, but c'mon, Norm, you got beat by a pair of clowns. What sort of reputation do you suppose you have left?

"We need this, Norm. We need you to take one for the team. We'll take care of you when it's all said and done. Nice think-tank sinecure, a lobbying job on K St., perhaps a couple of corporate board spots, maybe even a gig at the Ministry Of Propaganda -- oops, sorry, we meant Fox News. Anyways, you'll make out like a pirate, without the SEALS.

"Whaddaya' say, Norm? Will you do it?"

The rest, as they say, is history.......

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 16, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The 63% aren't alone. But watch carefully: the GOP has shown its unwillingness to hew to decisions even by some of our highest courts, and they ignore voters' preferences when it is convenient for them to do so. They are, after all, above those technicalities and all the rest of us. Just ask 'em.

Posted by: MouthSore | April 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

the 5 parties involved are not the brighest bulbs in the batch. the gov. is playing gop politics the same as what happen in florida during 2000 elections (which was theft by default) and it should have been prosecuted as a "crimal offense" now you have these 2 "nit wits" doing the same thing trying (steal an election). every review, recount, redo, has been done and the dope don't get it. pawlenty(reminds me of a mussy breakfast cereal)has mush for brains. the "state" wants this to END NOW! what's the next stop "the supreme court", coleman is dead and i can't grasp these last breaths he's taking. YOU'RE DONE, THE FORK WAS STUCK IN, TURNED YOU OVER, THE OVEN OF OFF. DONE!!!!!

Posted by: lookitkup | April 16, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

so norm coleman has no political future

are there any repuglitards who might want to win an election in the future ???

like say, in the congressional races in 2010 ???

the repuglitards better stop their childish obstruction, or their future is gonna be severly LIMITED

the repuglitards have NO CHANCE of winning in Minnesota for the next fifty years

would they like to expand the list of states where they have NO CHANCE of winning any election ???

I bet Peter King is DYING over the obstruction of mr tedisco

looks like a pattern to me

if the people of the State Of New York can't trust tedisco to act like an adult human being during the election process, why should they consider voting for ANY REPUGLITARD

if Peter king wants to run for the US Senate, he better start defending the people of the State Of New York from asshats like tedisco NOW

Posted by: frankpatriot | April 16, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Such interesting comments, largely from NoNothings who simply accept/push the Party Line. Almost funny, were it not so tragic.
No, I'm no Republican, but I admit detesting the very nasty Al Franken. He makes my skin crawl, he's beneath contempt.
But it's the Minnesota Attorney General and the courts who want to count "some" of the votes, but not others; sounds like AlGore in 2000 when he wanted to 86 the military's votes...?
Thus, finally, while I used to love Mancini's wonderful restaurant in St. Paul, I will never spend another dime nor visit Minnesota - - unless this is resolved properly, regardless of who wins.
The key word is Properly, and lawfully. All I want is real justice.

Posted by: frost1 | April 16, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sixty three percent of the Minnesotans want Coleman to concede and get it over with. The problem is that Coleman does not give a sweet petunia what the people of Minnesota want. He takes his orders from the Republican establishment in Washington DC. and they want Franken kept out as long as they can probably stretch it. Ten days to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. They will rule against him probably in a month or two. than the inevitable appeal to the USA Supreme Court, hopefully for the Republicans right after they have gone into recess the first of July. That will get them to October 1st when they will schedule oral arguments , in a month or so of course, and a decision hopefully by Christmas. You read it here first!

Posted by: Opa2 | April 16, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

We in the rest of the country feel distaste for Coleman's resistance to his losing his senate race, and feel that after almost 5 months of recounting and law suits, losing all of them, he should accept reality and concede the race with whatever grace he has left. But it really is up to how much the Minnesotans will take of this farce. They are entitled to have two senators represent them in congress; well into the year, they have only one, and don't seem to protest too much about the situation as it stands.
The pols and the courts will do whatever the Coleman people ask for, within reason and legal bounds, even if it takes a few more months. But it really is up to the people of the state to protest if they feel the candidates are dragging it out, and they want equal representation in the senate.

Posted by: jbleenyc | April 15, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty simply shows that Republicans mean it when they accuse others of clogging the courts with frivolous lawsuits and asking 'activist' judges to overturn the will of the voters.

Ah, the sweet stench of hypocrisy.

Posted by: thebobbob | April 15, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully - it will all be resolved by the MN Summer season (July 1st thru July 7th).

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 15, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Coleman is certainly doing his best impression of a spoiled child who thinks jumping up and down and stomping his path will get him what he wants. Tool.

On the plus side, at least Cillizzard didn't fill this story with the political views of a bunch of GOP and Dem partisan hacks.

Posted by: hiberniantears | April 15, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Pawlenty, Nagourney of the Times has a story on the Governor today. Sadly, he apparently didn't have the wherewithal to get the governor's statement on the Franken-Coleman saga:

Instead, we get a feel for the blandness of Pawlenty as a potential national candidate. His strongest hopes for rebuilding GOP influence apparently rest on the 'pendulum returning'. Yikes. Those guys are in worse trouble than I thought.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 15, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Even more evidence of the Republican disaster...

I wonder if Norm Coleman went to one of those "grass roots" Tea Bagging parties where people who suddenly hate the government meet and get nasty (with their home made signs, of course)?

Posted by: shrink2 | April 15, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

So i guess the question is:

Will Pawlenty reaffirm the GOP as the party of NO

Or will he abide by the wishes of his constituency and be slammed by GOP elders for giving up a 59th seat to Dems?

I say he folds like a lawn chair and sides with GOP

It's really a lose-lose proposition for him.

Posted by: jfern03 | April 15, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

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