It’s never too early to start thinking about the next election.
Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, is already dishing out predictions, and so far he thinks DFL Sen. Al Franken will hold on to his seat – unless Republicans put up a strong candidate.
Roll Call gives the Minnesota Senate race a similar rating of “leans Democratic.”
Here’s what Sabato wrote on his “Crystal Ball” blog:
“After winning the narrowest of belated victories in 2009, Sen. Al Franken (D) has a decent approval rating in Gopherland, and he enters his first reelection bid as a slight favorite. We suspect he would trounce Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), who barely survived her 2012 reelection bid in Minnesota’s most Republican House district. Another possibility — one-time presidential contender and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) — will not be a candidate, having landed a lucrative job in association-land. The quality of the Republican challenger will determine much here. Minnesota has a reputation for being more Democratic than it actually is.”
Another possible GOP contender? Third Congressional District Rep. Erik Paulsen, who, when asked if he was interested in the job during an interview with WCCO earlier this week, said he’s focused on representing his suburban Twin Cities region in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Second Congressional District Rep. John Kline is also a possible opponent. His spokesman Troy Young told Roll Call that his boss is “leaving all options on the table for 2014.”
Former Sen. Norm Coleman has been named as a possible Franken contender. But Coleman, who narrowly lost to Franken in 2008 after an expensive and lengthy recount, has been busy with his American Action Network group in Washington, D.C.