Al Franken's Salvation

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 23 2013 9:08 AM

Al Franken's Salvation

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee member U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) questions witnesses during a hearing about the recent events at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex March 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. The reactor was badly damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and Japanese officials are working to regain control of the disaster as problems continue cascade. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If Republican donors are serious about intervening in primaries again, and saving moderates from the party's base, they might start in Minnesota. Sen. Al Franken has slowly, methodically turned himself into a more popular senator, ignoring most national media (non-Minnesota reporters politely let him walk by as he leaves Senate meetings) and sponsoring non-controversial bills like companion dogs for wounded veterans. He still only manages to top his defeated 2008 nemesis Norm Coleman and suburban Rep. John Kline by single digits. But he tops Rep. Michele Bachmann by double digits.

Alas, there's a PPP poll.

Bachmann is the clear favorite among Republican primary voters with 45% support, followed by John Kline (19%), Chip Cravaack (13%), Erik Paulsen (11%), Laura Brod (4%) and Rich Stanek (2%). 6% of respondents support someone else or are undecided. Not surprisingly, Bachmann is the popular choice because of strong support among conservative GOP voters.

Minnesota's parties actually hold summer conventions before late summer primaries. Who'd have the advantage in a 2014 convention -- the woman who won her first Senate primary by crowding the party convention, or somebody else?

Sidebar: Bachmann has finally started to collect co-sponsors for her H.R. 45, total repeal of the Affordable Care Act. There are 13 of them, including ambitious possible U.S. Senate candidate Tom Price, Republican Study Committee chairman Steve Scalise, and former RSC Chairman Jim Jordan.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 8:46 AM The Vintage eBay Find I Wore to My Sentencing
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.