Republicans Put Bullseye on Franken

Minnesota GOP hopes hatred of him can galvanize party
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2009 11:23 AM CST
In this Nov. 4, 2008, file photo, Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken shakes hands with supporters after speaking at the Democratic election night party in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – Barring a surprise court decision, Al Franken will be Minnesota's junior senator, but the battle has just begun as far as Minnesota Republicans are concerned. They’re counting on hatred of the SNL alum to galvanize the state party for years to come. “It’s impossible to overstate the hostility Minnesota Republicans feel toward Al Franken,” said one political scientist. “He will be a very useful fundraising tool.”

After a grueling recount, Franken is in rough shape. In a recent poll, 45% of Minnesotans said they had a negative view of him, to just 37% holding a favorable one. Democrats hope Franken will be able to win over constituents with a successful, and comedy-free, term. “I expect that on Capitol Hill he will be a very serious legislator,” said one former congressman, “almost to the extreme.”