WASHINGTON – Minnesotans like their senators a whole lot more than people in most other states.
Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar both rank in the top 10 most popular senators, according to a poll released Thursday by Morning Consult, a nonpartisan media and survey technology company.
The poll found 68 percent of Minnesota voters approve and 21 percent disapprove of Klobuchar and 63 percent approve and 26 percent disapprove of Franken. Morning Consult surveyed 1,021 Minnesotans between January and April and the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent. Eleven percent of those polled said they didn’t know or had no opinion of either Klobuchar or Franken.
Only Maine voters also ranked both of their senators in the top 10.
Klobuchar and Franken, both Democrats, have fairly low key profiles on Capitol Hill and both are known to focus on state problems and issues. For example, earlier this month, Franken urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the annual duck stamp. Klobuchar led a similar effort, urging the U.S. Postal Service to hold dedication of new Halloween-themed stamps in Anoka.
But there are remarkable similarities between the two politicians, despite their different personalities. Both are on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both have been outspoken about the need for President Obama’s pick for a Supreme Court justice, Merrick Garland, to get a hearing. Both have endorsed Hillary Clinton. Both gave floor speeches when Prince died last week.
Franken is on the privacy and technology caucus and is often outspoken against growing technology and ride-sharing companies — like Uber — for not doing enough to protect consumers’ private information. He has also been outspoken about student debt loads and strengthening K-12 education.
Klobuchar focuses more on consumer safety issues. Just this week, Procter & Gamble announced new efforts to help safeguard children from accidents with detergent laundry pods after research found they can cause serious harm when swallowed. She has also been outspoken helping those laid off on the Iron Range.
The Morning Consult poll comes at a time when voters have historically low views of Congress as an institution. A Real Clear Politics survey earlier this month found 14.5 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.
Klobuchar said Wednesday she was proud of the recent transportation bill and passage of legislation aimed at reducing the opioid abuse epidemic.
“My priority is to build on the progress we’ve made to strengthen the economy and help the middle class,” she said in a statement. “That means focusing on preparing students for an ever-changing and dynamic job market, continuing to go after steel dumping, expanding broadband in our rural communities.”
Franken said he is proud of new federal money recently granted to the “Bug” school up on the Leech Lake reservation and working to make sure the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal wouldn’t be approved.
“I’ve worked hard on the issues that Minnesotans tell me matter to them, so it’s heartening to hear that they are happy with the job I’m doing,” he said.