Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls #MeToo era shows there's almost never only one accuser, says Hill.TV's Krystal Ball Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC MORE (D-Minn.) has widened his lead over Republican challenger Mike McFadden to 18 points, according to a new SurveyUSA/KSTP poll.

Franken leads McFadden 55 percent to 37 percent in the poll of 577 likely voters released this week, double the 9-point lead he held in the same poll last month.

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Both candidates have strong support within their own party. Among Republicans, McFadden draws 84 percent support while Franken enjoys 94 percent support among Democrats. Franken, though, holds a 17-point lead among independents, the poll found.

Franken has 15-point lead among men and a 21-point lead among women. The incumbent senator is also posting double-digit edge in every part of the state.

Polling ended a day after the two candidates' first debate Oct. 1. The pair will go head to head in two more debates in late October and early November. 

Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" star, has consistently led McFadden, a self-funded businessman in polling.

Minnesota Star Tribune poll released last month found the Democrat with a 13-point advantage among likely voters.

The SurveyUSA poll used a blend of automated home telephone calls and cellphone surveys from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. It has a 4-percent margin of error.