New poll shows Dayton, Franken with leads over their GOP challengers

A new poll finds Democrats Mark Dayton and Al Franken are running well ahead of all of their Republican challengers, but neither incumbent Democrat is drawing more than 50 percent support.

Pollsters from the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston conducted their survey of 800 likely Minnesota voters from last Thursday through this Monday. The Suffolk poll has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

According to the results, Gov. Dayton leads all of his Republican challengers by double digits, but one in four voters said they were undecided on the governor’s race.

Pollsters found support for Sen. Franken in the mid-40s and that none of his Republican challengers has more than 29 percent support. One in five voters said they were undecided in the Senate race.

Almost 50 percent of the sample of likely voters said Minnesota’s economy has improved over the past two years. Twenty-one percent said it has gotten worse.

As for the Affordable Care Act, known to many as “Obamacare,” 45 percent said it’s generally bad for Minnesota; 41 percent said the act is good.

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Franken faces several Republican challengers including State Sen. Julianne Ortman, State Rep. Jim Abeler, businessman Mike McFadden, and St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg.

There is also a large field of Republicans vying to run against Dayton. Among them are state Sen. Dave Thompson, state Rep. Kurt Zellers, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, former state Rep. Marty Seifert and businessman Scott Honour.

According to the poll most Republicans in Minnesota are undecided in the GOP governor and Senate nomination battles; 62 percent in the Senate race, 67 percent in the governor’s race.

Here's the poll, which also asked which candidates Minnesota Democrats and Republicans want to see run for president in 2016: