Minnesota voters agree with DFLer Al Franken that rejected absentee ballots should be reviewed. But they don’t think that the candidate who loses the U.S. Senate recount should challenge it in court, even if they think the process was unfair.
That’s according to a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by KSTP-TV, which was released last night by Channel 5′s top political reporter Tom Hauser.
The poll found that voters think Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has done a better job of handling the recount of the U.S. Senate race. And the early controversy over whether Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a DFLer, was too partisan to ensure a fair result seems to have dissipated, the poll suggests.
The poll, taken of 556 registered voters last week, shows that most respondents — 58 percent — think the recount process has been fair to both Coleman and Franken. But a few more think it’s been unfair to Coleman, 20 percent, than to Franken, 13 percent.
More voters approve of the way the Coleman campaign has handled the recount — 51 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove — while slightly more disapprove of the Franken campaign’s handling of the recount, 48 percent to 44 percent.
The one figure who comes back with glowing reviews is Ritchie, whose recount work won the approval of 61 percent and the disapproval of 26 percent.
A bare majority — 53 percent — said they have the same amount of faith in Minnesota’s electoral system. But about a third said they have less faith, while only 11 percent said they have more faith in the system.
Nearly 60 percent of the voters say absentee ballots that were rejected should be reviewed, a key piece of the Franken campaign’s strategy. Those ballots are being sorted this week, and the fate of the ones that were improperly rejected may be decided Friday by the state Canvassing Board.
On the other hand, the poll shows that most voters don’t like the prospect of a legal challenge by the candidate who loses in the recount tally. Fifty-five percent said a legal challenge shouldn’t be filed, while 40 percent said it should.
The most amusing findings came on the question of who voters would would support if the election was held today. The results: Coleman 41 percent, Franken 40 percent, Barkley 15 percent.
Just in case you don’t remember, the results on Election Day were Coleman 41.99 percent, Franken 41.98 percent, and Barkley 15.2 percent.
It’s deja vu all over again.