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“Sen. Franken promised Minnesotans he would work hard for them every day, and that’s what he’s done,” said Franken campaign spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff. “Minnesotans know he’s kept his word and that he’s going to keep fighting on their behalf.”
Cambridge Democrat Christine Burlingame, 61, said Franken’s push to restore emergency federal unemployment benefits has impressed her. She can relate to the thousands of Minnesotans whose benefits expired at the end of 2013. Burlingame now works in credit collections, but went through a 27-month period when she couldn’t find a job.
“[Franken] just strikes me as being honest, and that can be a rare thing for politicians,” Burlingame said.
Nicole Monaghan, 44, a Carver Republican, considers Franken an opportunist.
“It’s all about Al, and isn’t always about the people,” said Monaghan, a homemaker and former social studies teacher.
Asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him, 38 percent of poll respondents view him favorably, but 30 percent view him negatively. Nearly a third are neutral.
Charles Shreffler, 58, a Bloomington Republican, has followed Franken’s work on privacy issues.
“He’s been a good advocate for citizens,” said Shreffler, an attorney.
But Franken hasn’t done enough to win over Shreffler, whose vote will to go one of four Republicans vying for the GOP nomination to take on Franken. “The Republican candidate is going to be closer to my fundamental beliefs,” Shreffler said.
Conlin, the independent voter from Shoreview, said he faced a difficult choice between Franken and Coleman in 2008 and may encounter a similar dilemma this fall.
“I don’t know who the Republicans are running against [Franken],” Conlin said. “I’ll have to weigh my options. He’s not a slam dunk.”
Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune Washington Bureau. Twitter: @C_C_Mitchell