And even more surprising, in the Star Tribune poll, which usually tilts significantly in sympathy to Democrats. Barack Obama’s job approval has dropped to 43/50 in a state he easily won in two presidential elections — and it’s much worse outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul (via Instapundit):
Men had an especially unfavorable opinion of the president. According to the poll, 60 percent of Minnesotan men disapproved of his job performance, compared to 40 percent of women in the state.
People under 34 had the highest approval rating for Obama, with 59 percent saying they thought he was doing a good job in office.
The statewide poll reflects a broader disapproval of the president that has been swelling across the country. Current national polls show Obama’s approval rating is among the lowest it has been while he has been in the White House.
The key in Minnesota, though, is the difference between the core cities, the first-ring suburbs, and everywhere else. In the core cities, Obama has a solid but not spectacular 61/29 approval rating, but that drops to 41/50 in the rest of the Twin Cities suburbs. In the rest of the state — where a little more than half of all Minnesota residents live — it’s 30/66.
One might think that such a bad showing for a previously-popular President would worry certain incumbents in Congress. Collin Peterson is reportedly considering retirement rather than run for his House seat in his Republican-leaning district, and this poll might be the last straw for the longterm incumbent. One member who apparently has little to worry about, though, is Senator Al Franken. In the same poll, Franken’s numbers look unassailable, at least so far:
More than half of Minnesotans say first-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken is doing a good job, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.
The 55 percent approval rating for the satirist-turned-senator matches a high-water mark reached last June, but the latest results also show a growing dissatisfaction with his job performance.
Franken’s job disapproval rating has climbed to 34 percent, up from 29 percent last June.
Franken also is buoyed by his ratings in the core cities, but does better than Obama in the suburbs:
Franken’s job approval numbers are highest in the Democratic strongholds of Hennepin and Ramsey counties, where 68 percent approve of the work he has done in Congress. …
In the metro suburbs, Franken’s approval stands at 58 percent. Outstate, however, his approval rating dips sharply to 42 percent.
Even that outstate figure might be enough to win re-election if the race turns into a three-way contest, as it has been in the last few cycles. If Republicans in Minnesota had a strong foothold and a caucus system to produce a high-powered candidate, they still could compete with Franken. At the moment, though, the GOP is just getting itself off the floor from a fiscal collapse and organizational crisis, and the Senate contest is fractured for now. The caucus and/or primary (we have both) won’t produce a clear winner until the early summer at the soonest, and possibly August. Unless Franken commits the kind of political self-immolation he’s thus far avoided, the race will probably be his to lose.