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GOP Candidates Trailing in Latest Governor, Senate Polls

Created: 08/19/2014 11:19 PM KAALtv.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- We’re still more than two months out from November’s election and tonight we're getting a better look at where things stand with two of Minnesota’s biggest races.

In November, Minnesotan’s will decide who they want to be the state's governor. Jeff Johnson won the Republican primary and will face-off against Governor Mark Dayton. New polling data from Rasmussen Reports shows Governor Dayton leading right now. The phone poll showed 49% supporting Dayton with 41% supporting Johnson.

“At this point any polling that came out would be much more about name recognition. Democrats are the incumbents, they're the ones holding the positions. Those are more than likely going to be the names that the average person would recognize, opposed to a challenger who maybe just made it through a primary or was uncontested,” said Political Analyst, Shane Baker.

Another key race will be for U.S. Senate. Businessman Mike McFadden advanced in the primary to go against incumbent Democratic Senator Al Franken in November. The Rasmussen Reports poll shows Franken currently leading by 8 percentage points.

"If there's any cause for concern for republicans is that an organization, Rasmussen, that tends to lean their way is saying the other guys are ahead,” said Baker.

Both races are expected to be competitive. Currently, Democrats control the governorship and both the state house and senate. On the national level, outside political groups are starting to look at the Minnesota race as Republicans also hope to win back control of the U.S. Senate.