Franken already has $2 million to take on his TBD opponent

Categories: Al Franken
screenshot from Franken's thanks video
After his famously close 2008 victory, Al Franken is well on his way to a much easier race in 2014.

See Also:
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- Norm Coleman isn't interested in Al Franken rematch, praises Franken's approach
- Minnesota Republicans want Michele Bachmann vs. Al Franken in 2014
- Al Franken is (intentionally) making shit up in his latest fundraising email

A full year and a half before Election Day, the popular first-term U.S. senator already has his fundraising machine in motion. In the first three months of 2013, the Franken campaign raised $1.98 million, for a total of $2,034,843 on hand.

To thank his supporters for their contributions, the Franken team put together a video that does double duty as intimidation for the yet-to-be-determined Republican challenger. Per the video, the campaign has strong grassroots support: More than 55 percent of contributions were $100 or less, and funds came in from every county in Minnesota.

To win his first term, Franken raised $22.5 million. His opponent in that race, Norm Coleman, has ruled out a rematch, but at least four state Republicans are mulling a bid in 2014. With Franken's fundraising head start, though, whoever enters the race could end up being a Kurt Bills-style sacrificial lamb.

There is some good news for the GOP. DFLer Jim Graves, who narrowly lost his 2012 congressional campaign to incumbent Michele Bachmann, announced yesterday his plans to again try to unseat her in 2014.

He's entering round two with considerably less cash than the congresswoman. Bachmann, who outspent Graves 4-to-1 in their 2012 race, ended last year with $2 million on hand, the Star Tribune reports, versus the $30,000 Graves has leftover from his campaign. Meanwhile, Bachmann's team, never shy on the attacks, has already started in on taking Graves down.

Here's Franken's thank you:

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swmnguy topcommenter

I can't imagine whom the Republicans will find to run against Sen. Franken.  Can anybody name any current MN Republican who can win a statewide race?  Tom Emmer only came close because of the nasty whisper campaign about Mark Dayton, and the insider DFL'ers who never stopped supporting Margaret Anderson Kelliher.  Norm Coleman only made it as close as it was because the insider DFL'ers like Betty McCollum who really had it in for Al Franken.   Also the "Independence Party" used as a Republican stalking horse to siphon off moderate DFL votes seems to have finally run its course.

Now that the insider-preferred candidates have been washed out by the voters, the Democratic officeholders are secure.  Whom could the Republicans put up against Franken?  Mark Kennedy never had a chance statewide.  Kurt Bills is probably a pretty good schoolteacher.  Norm Coleman can't afford to walk away from the corporate gravy train; nor can Tim Pawlenty.  Besides, Coleman and Pawlenty have records they'd have to run against.  There's no MN GOP figure who can win more than a House District in Minnesota.  Between the Tea Party, the Libertarians, the religious fanatics and the Brodkorb bullies, every Republican who can attract a vote immediately attracts two negative votes for Franken.

green23 topcommenter

Aaron wrote: "There is some good news for the GOP. DFLer Jim Graves, who narrowly lost his 2012 congressional campaign to incumbent Michele Bachmann, announced yesterday his plans to again try to unseat her in 2014." 

I fail to see how this is good news for the GOP. Bachmann's popularity has only gone down since the election, and the very close race has gone a long way toward dispelling her myth of invincibility. Graves came the closest of anyone to beating Bachmann with 49.3% of the vote. He's the one Bachmann should most afraid of facing in 2014. How is that "good news" for the GOP?

The way that I see it is that Bachmann soaked up $11M+ that was *not* spent on State legislative races, holding on to Cravaack's seat, or helping Kurt Bills. Bachmann's House seat is one of more than 500, and a less controversial Republican could hold it forever for about 1% of what Bachmann requires to *barely* hold it now. She's a pretty expensive "symbol" for a bankrupt Party that's rife with internal dissent. 

Republicans generally have a small advantage in midterm elections due to a better turnout, but the recent campaigns against the two Constitutional Amendments and the Presidential campaign have left MN Democrats much better organised than usual. Unless a third-party candidate gets in the race, the result will almost certainly be close this time in the Sixth -- less than a 5% margin.

It's pretty clear right now that the Republicans will not pick up anything this election on the federal or gubernatorial level. They also have to find people willing to face certain losses against Walz, Ellison, Nolan, and Peterson. These are the real "sacrificial lambs", and those campaigns will also cost money that the MNGOP won't be able to spend on the Governor and Senate races. 

Demographic analysis suggests that the MNGOP will have about 25K less voters in the State than they did in 2012 due solely to the Grim Reaper. Polling shows that voters who self-identify as Republicans dropped 4% after the last election. And 2010 has yielded little in tangible legislative results for wingnuts who will have spent six years in an apoplectic rage come election time. Their enthusiasm is dampening. This was supposed to have been a short war; not a battle of attrition.


I won't b e voting for Franken again!! He has done nothing since being there and to top it off he has yet to do anything to bring jobs to this state. I can see laying low for a little while but to be there just to take up a seat is bull. His "I only like to talk with the local press" is a great way of hiding. One of his appeals as a candidate, a few years back, was the name and the hope he would use that to help MN. I volunteered on his campaign and his big ideas and promises, turned out to be a bad joke on us. Bachmann will be in jail, at least I hope, by election day. Washington is tired of her. I hope we do a better job of selecting candidate's, that don't embarrass us. I know I am going to do everything I can to help.

Kenosha 'Kenny' Washington
Kenosha 'Kenny' Washington

Im just glad somebody is trying to "unseat" Bachmann and at this point I dont care if its another Republician! *smh*

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