Poll: Franken tops GOP challengers in 2014

Earlier this month, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), considered a top-tier recruit, announced he would not make a bid for the seat 2014. His announcement followed decisions by Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) and Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) to also stay out of the race.

In January, all three Republicans polled ahead of any GOP candidate listed in Tuesday’s survey.

The closest potential challengers in Tuesday’s poll trail Franken by 15 percent — including businessman Mike McFadden and Hennepin County, Minn., Sherriff Richard Stanek.

The two candidates have 14 percent and 25 percent name recognition, respectively. Talk show host Jason Lewis holds the highest name recognition of any Republican polled, with 37 percent.

State Senators. Julie Rosen trails Franken by 16 percent. State Sen. Julianne Ortman and talk show host Jason Lewis trail by 17 percent.

In 2008, Franken won a 300-vote victory over Coleman. President Obama won in Minnesota by about 8 points last year.

Franken, the former “Saturday Night Live” star, had a little more than $2 million dollar in his campaign account at the end of the first quarter.

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