Al Franken faces some grim poll numbers in a survey commissioned by a local television station. Fifty-nine percent say they are less likely to support Franken for political office after hearing about his evasion of corporate and personal taxes in almost two dozen states over the last few years. The DFL may have the biggest case of buyer’s remorse yet seen:
DFL candidate Al Franken jumpstarted his campaign with a rally the day before Republican Norm Coleman officially announced his reelection bid. Since then, headlines have not been kind to Franken. First, a $25,000 fine for not paying workers’ compensation insurance in New York. Then he revealed he is paying $70,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest to 17 states.
In the latest SurveyUSA poll about Franken’s tax troubles, 500 people were polled.
Of those people, 59 percent said the recent troubles made them less likely to support Franken and 31 percent said it made no difference.
When asked whether Franken should withdraw from the race, 51 percent said he should withdraw while 38 said he should stay in the race.
KSTP included a response from the Franken campaign saying that they “did not agree” with the majority of those polled about his political future. Certainly they don’t, but that’s hardly the issue. When a candidate sees a poll that shows a majority not just opposing him but also insisting on his withdrawal, that tends to speak loudly about the certainty of defeat at the polls in November.
The crosstabs look particularly grim. When asked whether his tax violations make voters less likely to support him or makes no difference, the former wins majorities across all age groups, with both men and women, and with whites, blacks, and independents. Franken scores a dead heat among Democrats on that question. He loses in every region of the state as well.
On the question of withdrawal, it looks just as bad. Majorities of men and women want him to quit, and the only age group that favors his remaining in the race is 50-64-year-olds, 48%-46%. Eighty-nine percent of black voters want him to quit, as do 46% of independents, with 42% of them saying he should stay in the race.
The Democrats face a debacle in this Senate race. Franken has no chance of winning, and it’s even worse than that. If Democrats endorse a tax cheat for the Senate, the Republicans will remind voters of that at every rally, in every debate, especially since the DFL wants to raise taxes to support their party platform. Franken will be a constant reminder of that hypocrisy.
Expect the DFL to act in the next few weeks to pressure Franken out of the race. Anyone they get will do less damage than Franken, who’s discovering that, gosh darn it, people don’t want to vote for tax cheats.
Update: Fixed title, and forgot to credit True North for the hat tip.