Minnesotans split again -- on a new Senate vote

  • Article by: BOB VON STERNBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2009 - 5:00 PM

Independent voters are least likely to want a new election.

Franken's lead attorney David Lillehaug
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Al Franken's lead attorney David Lillehaug confers with his legal team during the testimony of Director of Elections for St. Louis County, Paul Tynjola, in the Senate recount trial on Thursday.

Photo: John Doman, Associated Press

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Minnesotans are split on whether it's time to rerun their hopelessly snarled U.S. Senate race.

A new poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports shows that 46 percent of likely voters in the state favor a revote in the race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. Forty-four percent are against a new vote, a statistical dead heat, given the poll's margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Earlier this week, in the midst of the continuing recount trial Coleman questioned whether the three judges presiding in the trial will ultimately be able to decide who won the election. However, his lawyers stopped short of asking the judges to order a new election.

Given the recount results that gave Franken a 225-vote lead and Coleman's failure so far to substantially expand the pool of votes, Republicans in the state look more favorably on a revote than Democrats do.

Among self-identified Republicans, 71 percent support a do-over, while 69 percent of Democrats are opposed. Among independent voters, a revote is supported by just 12 percent.

The Democrats are more confident about the eventual winner: 82 percent of the Democrats say their candidate will win, while 66 percent of Republicans say Coleman will be returned to the Senate for a second term.

Among all voters, 47 percent say they believe Franken has won, 35 percent say Coleman has done so, while 18 percent say they're not sure.

By comparison, in early December, when Coleman was ahead in the count, a previous Rasmussen poll found that 67 percent of the state's likely voters expected him to be the winner.

The poll was conducted Tuesday; 500 likely voters were interviewed.

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Franken's lead attorney David Lillehaug