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Al Franken is up 49.3% to Norm Coleman's 24.6% according to new Poll Analyzing Comment Sentiment in Minnesota Papers

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An informal assessment of online polling was performed on articles published online in the last two days discussing the Senatorial race in Minnesota in the two largest Minnesota newspapers, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. The assessment was aimed at analyzing online sentiment towards or against the three different candidates, Republican Norm Coleman, Democrat Al Franken, and Independence Party Dean Barkley.

Individual comments to stories related to the Senatorial race were scored as favorable to Al Franken, Norm Coleman, or Dean Barkley. Comments that were ambiguous were discarded and not included. The number of viewers that agreed or disagreed to the author's comment were then tabulated.

When all comments from both papers were combined readers who chose to record a rating or sentiment rated pro-Franken comments favorably 68% of the time. Pro-Coleman comments were rated 34% favorably and pro-Barkley comments were rated 36% favorably. These figures were then normalized into voting percentages and made the assumption that viewers choosing favorable ratings to one of the three candidates would be most likely to vote for that candidate. Based on the data for the readers of the two major Minnesota newspapers Al Franken holds a statistically significant lead at 49.3% +/- 2.5% over both Norm Coleman 24.6% +/- 2.7% and Dean Barkley 26.1 +/- 5.4%.

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The raw data broken out by newspaper showed readers of the Star Tribune viewed Al Franken in the past two days much more favorable than readers of the Pioneer Press.

Star Tribune (online sentiment favorability rating)
Al Franken 77.8%
Norm Coleman 25.6%
Dean Barkley 30.1%

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Pioneer Press (online sentiment favorability rating)
Al Franken 56.2%
Norm Coleman 47.5%
Dean Barkley 57.5%*

* Very small sample size

The demographics included in this poll presumably target Minnesotans that have online access to and read and post to articles in the Star Tribune ( and the Pioneer Press ( Both papers have endorsed Norm Coleman.


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Eric Nelson is freelance writer, an editor at OpEdNews, and a spiritual progressive from Minnesota who has become more politically active. The reasons for this should be obvious to most; rising poverty, a broken health care system, and a growing (more...)

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