A new poll shows Minnesotans souring on DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken in the aftermath of accusations of sexual misconduct.
The snap survey conducted by KSTP-TV and SurveyUSA on Monday shows only 22 percent of Minnesota adults believe Franken should remain in office after facing accusations of groping and other misconduct from two women.
Another 36 percent said he should wait for the results of a Senate ethics investigation and 33 percent calling on Franken to resign immediately.
Republicans overwhelmingly called on Franken, a Democrat, to resign now. But even among Democrats, only 34 percent say Franken should definitely remain in office.
The KSTP/SurveyUSA poll found only 36 percent of Minnesotans approving of Franken, down from 53 percent when they last polled a year ago.
Franken's not the only one earning citizen disapproval. Republican President Trump and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton also had approval ratings below 50 percent. Only DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar had more than of Minnesota adults approving of her job performance.
That's also much lower approval for Franken than MPR News and its sister organization APM Research Lab found just three months ago in its Ground Level survey. In late August and early September, the survey found Franken with a 59 percent approval rating.
MPR News and the APM Research lab in late summer found higher approval ratings for Trump, Dayton and Klobuchar than the KSTP/SurveyUSA poll conducted this week.
"It's interesting to see that in addition to the obvious decline in Franken's approval, approval ratings for the president, the governor, and Sen. Klobuchar all appear to have taken a slight hit over the past couple of months," said Craig Helmstetter, managing partner of the APM Research Lab. "This could be due to differences in methodology between the two surveys, or might signal some growing disillusionment with politics."
The MPR News/APM Research Lab survey found Minnesotans polarized along party lines, with most Republicans approving of Trump and disapproving of Franken and Dayton, while most Democrats approved of Franken and Dayton and disapproved of Trump. Only Klobuchar drew significant approval across the aisle. Helmstetter noted that even before recent developments, Trump and Franken were particularly polarizing.
The MPR News/APM Research Lab survey found most Minnesotans were hopeful about the state's future. But many of these hopeful Minnesotans were dissatisfied with politics.
When Minnesotans were asked for one thing they would change to improve the state, the most common answers had to do with improving Minnesota's politics.
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