Political candidates sometimes try to play down their attention to early polling — unless, of course, a poll shows them ahead.
Sen. Norm Coleman clearly was familiar with the Quinnipiac University poll released today that showed him with a double-digit lead over Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken, even going so far as to say the former comedian and author is "getting murdered" among two voting groups examined in the poll.
In a Forum Communications interview hours after the poll was released, Coleman said he’s happy with the overall results — Minnesotans favor him over Franken by a 51-41 percent margin.
"That’s a terrible number for a Democrat," Coleman said, noting presidential candidate Barack Obama’s lead over Republican John McCain in the same poll.
The Coleman-Franken spread was larger — a 55-35 margin — among independent voters.
Interestingly, men give Coleman a 20-point advantage, but women are evenly split between the two candidates. In his Capitol Hill office, Coleman said that disparity says more about his opponent than himself.
Coleman said Franken’s joke about rape — from a 1995 "Saturday Night Live" brainstorming session and recently dug up by Republicans — and other comments and writings don’t "sell well" among Minnesotans.
Here’s how Coleman summarized other results: "Al Franken’s getting murdered among men, getting murdered among independents."
Fully 92 percent of Republicans are behind Coleman, the poll shows, but just
76 percent of Democrats are solid with Franken. Only 8 percent of Minnesotans remain undecided in the race, the poll