Franken leads by 13 points in Minnesota
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Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenAl Franken to launch 15-stop comedy tour Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Gillibrand: 'I definitely want to run for president again' MORE (D-Minn.) leads his Republican opponent, Mike McFadden, by 13 points in a new StarTribune poll.

The poll finds that Franken leads 49 percent to 36 percent among likely voters. The race was always somewhat of a stretch for Republicans in blue-leaning Minnesota, but this poll indicates Franken's lead is widening. Previous recent polls tended to give Franken a lead in the high single digits.


McFadden is looking to tie Franken to President Obama, hitting the senator on ObamaCare and for voting with the president 97 percent of the time. 

But the poll finds that Franken's approval rating remains higher than Obama's in the state, at 53 percent for Franken and 40 percent for Obama. 

Franken, a former Saturday Night Live star, has sought to keep a low profile in the Senate after winning in a recount in 2008. His campaign is emphasizing his work on issues, such as workforce training and food safety. Fifty-five percent said Franken has "focused on issues that are most important to Minnesotans," while 37 percent said he had not.

McFadden is a former executive at the Minneapolis investment bank Lazard Middle Market. Seventy percent of voters said that experience made no difference in how qualified he is to be a senator.

McFadden has a 30-percent favorability rating compared to 27 percent unfavorability. Twenty-nine percent are neutral and 14 percent have not heard of him.  

Men prefer McFadden, 45 percent to 37 percent, while women go for Franken, 59 percent to 28 percent. McFadden has come out in support of making birth control available over the counter, as have Republican Senate candidates in other close races, such as state house Speaker Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerEx-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms MORE in Colorado.