Franken Takes Serious Lead in Senate Race

Former SNL comic persuades Minnesotans his candidacy is no joke
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2008 4:26 AM CDT
Democratic candidate for the Minnesota Senate Al Franken makes remarks at the National Jewish Democratic Council in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – Al Franken is playing it straight on the Minnesota campaign trail and, doggone it, voters are liking it, the Washington Post reports. The comedian-turned-Democratic candidate, who now spends more time discussing ethanol policy than cracking jokes, has opened up a 6-point lead over his rival in the Senate race. Minnesota is one of the states the Democrats are aiming to flip to grab a filibuster-proof majority.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman—who has tried to use Franken’s comedic past to attack him—was expected to win the race until the economy tanked and Americans turned sharply on the GOP. Most Minnesotans now take Franken seriously as a politician, but some still have their doubts. His candidacy is "like Tina Fey running for office," one undecided voter said.  "Actually, maybe that's not such a bad idea," she added.