Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken leads all potential GOP opponents by comfortable double-digit margins, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.
Among those tested by the Democratic polling firm was U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who he leads 55-38, a 17 point margin.
Franken leads conservative talk show host Jason Lewis by the same 17 point margin (54-37), as well as state Sen. Julianne Ortman (52-35).
Narrowing the gap slightly against the first-term senator were businessman Mike McFadden and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who came within 15 points apiece (both at 51-36). Sen. Julie Rosen trailed by 16 points (52-36).
Overall, Franken weighed in with a 51 percent approval rating, while 42 of voters disapprove. (His approval rating is 6 points better than President Obama’s in the state).
One of the reasons for Franken’s commanding lead in the early going is the low-profile of the potential GOP field. That is actually a sign of hope for the Republicans. “Because of the low profile of the potential GOP candidates they do have a good amount of room to grow against Franken,” the pollsters concluded, “although he's certainly a clear favorite at any rate.”
Other findings from Minnesota:
- Minnesota voters support requiring background checks for all gun purchases by a 74-21 margin.
- Amy Klobuchar continues to be one of the most popular U.S. senators in the country, with 61 percent of voters approving of her to only 28 percent who disapprove. She’s one of only eight senators with over a 60 percent approval rating.
- “It's looking more and more like the damage Tim Pawlenty did to himself with his failed 2012 Presidential bid is going to prove to be permanent in Minnesota. Only 39 percent of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him compared to 50 percent with a negative one.”
- “Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman isn't very popular in the state either, with a 37-39 favorability rating and 24 percent of voters having no opinion about him.”
The survey of 712 Minnesota voters was conducted May 17-19.

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