Minnesota's U.S. Senatorial candidates participated in their 2nd debate and the 1st debate to be televised this campaign season. The debate was co-hosted by 'Debate Minnesota' and the television station KARE11 and took place at the Breck High School in Golden Valley Minnesota Saturday night. The debate was televised on the local Minnesota NBC affiliate KARE11.
Over 500 Minnesotans were in attendance supporting the respective candidates of Democratic candidate Al Franken (D), Republican candidate Norm Coleman (R ) and Independence candidate Dean Barkley (I).
Topics that were debated were wide-ranging and included the economy, the Iraq War, a nuclear Iran, Social Security, and reversing the growing unemployment rate in Minnesota.
Throughout the debate Norm Coleman touted his bipartisan approach in Washington to finding solutions. Dean Barkley focused much of his discussion on reducing the federal deficit. And Al Franken demonstrated his maverick streak by breaking with the other two candidates in not supporting the original bailout package and not advocating a hawkish stance towards Iran.
A commenter with the alias burglus wrote, "I was impressed with Dean Barkley and Al Franken, But I don't see Norm coming back for a second term."
Blogger JillM90 responded with, "I did not really have an opinion of Dean, but I am pleasantly surprised. I thought I would vote for Coleman, because I do like him and I cannot stand Smug Franken, but after seeing Barkley, I am leaning towards him."
This was followed by GOLDEN_VALLEY writing, "Norm talks a good game, but I do not believe him. I was very impressed with Al Franken and his level of knowledge of the issues, how he answered the questions and the way he could communicate his personal convictions, I trust him more than Norm, and Dean Barkley would have done better for himself if he would have not had to read from his notepad."
The online poll that was conducted by KARE11 appeared to agree with the sentiments displayed by GOLDEN_VALLEY. Al Franken was determined to be the victor of the debate by 49% of the respondents, whereas 30% said Norm Coleman had won, and only 20% said that Dean Barkley had won.
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The next debate between these three candidates is scheduled for Thursday night in Duluth Minnesota. Al Franken currently leads Norm Coleman in the poll of polls 40 % to 37.8% respectively (RealClearPolitics.com). Independence candidate Dean Barkley continued to poll at about 17%.