Large majorities approve of the job performance of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.
The senators, both DFLers, earned higher marks than they have in any previous Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.
Klobuchar, long a champion of bipartisanship and politically popular proposals, scored an approval rating of 72 percent for her work, according to the statewide poll.
The numbers illustrate Republicans’ challenge in finding a credible opponent to Klobuchar as she seeks election to a third term in 2018.
Franken, who has taken a combative approach to the new administration of President Donald Trump and especially his Cabinet appointees, won the approval of 58 percent of Minnesotans, according to the poll.
The high marks at home underscore why Klobuchar and Franken are both increasingly viewed as national leaders of their party. Both have been discussed as potential 2020 presidential candidates.
Klobuchar and Franken performed best in the poll among women and in the Twin Cities area. But even in greater Minnesota, where the DFL has in recent years suffered a series of electoral setbacks, Klobuchar does well in the poll: 74 percent support in southern Minnesota and 57 percent support in northern Minnesota.
For Franken, it’s 50 percent approval in northern Minnesota and 53 percent in southern Minnesota. Considerably higher marks in Hennepin and Ramsey counties drove up his overall statewide approval.
Justin Buoen, a spokesman for Klobuchar’s campaign, said the poll vindicates her approach: “She believes that you should find common ground when you can and stand your ground when you must. No matter what’s happening in politics, she believes that we have to focus on results and that’s what Minnesotans want to see.”
Franken spokesman Marc Kimball said the state’s junior senator has not changed his approach: “No matter what the Trump administration brings, and no matter how divisive Washington may be, Senator Franken is always committed to putting Minnesotans first,” he said.
J. Patrick Coolican • 651-925-5042