Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the sixth most popular Senator in the country, according to Public Policy Polling, and would easily beat either former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty or U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann if either ran against her.
The new Minnesota poll, released Tuesday, also found that few Minnesotans had heard of Klobuchar's announced Republican challengers and she had a lead over each of them by 23 percent or more. In hypothetical match ups, Klobuchar would get 54 percent to Pawlenty's 39 and the sitting Senator would get 58 percent to Bachmann's 35 percent. Neither Pawlenty nor Bachmann have shown any interest in running against Klobuchar.
"Amy Klobuchar continues to be one of the most popular Senators in the country and should have little trouble winning reelection," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said.
If that stands, Klobuchar's national profile will rise, making political minds speculate about her potential future ambitions.
The poll, conducted among 1,236 Minnesota voters between January 21 and 22, found 61 percent of Minnesotans approve of the job Klobuchar is doing and 28 percent disapproving. Those numbers are similar to approval ratings Klobuchar received last year.
Pawlenty and Bachmann's popularity ratings are less secure. Both former presidential candidates had more Minnesotans saying they had unfavorable opinions of them than positive. Half of Minnesotans said they view Pawlenty negatively and would not support him should he run for statewide office again. According to the poll, 57 percent of Minnesotans view Bachmann unfavorably.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who will be up for re-election in 2014, has also improved on his favorability since his 2008 squeaker of an election. Forty-nine percent of Minnesotans approve of the job he is doing and 39 percent disapprove. Generally, any incumbent who receives less than 50 percent approval from voters is considered vulnerable to challenge.
But, according to the poll, neither Bachmann nor Pawlenty would beat him in hypothetical elections but Pawlenty could come close. Public Policy Polling found that Franken would get 49 percent to Pawlenty's 43 percent and the sitting Senator would receive 54 percent if Bachmann ran against him. She would garner 39 percent.
The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.
The polling firm, which works with Democrats but has produced numbers that are trusted on both sides of the aisle, will publish more Minnesota specific numbers in the coming days. It has also polled about the current presidential race, the marriage amendment and the Wisconsin recall.
Read the full results from Tuesday here: