Al Franken’s approval rating has plummeted following sexual harassment allegations

Thirty-three percent of those surveyed said they believed Franken should step down.

(CREDIT: AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson/file)
(CREDIT: AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson/file)

A new poll published on Thursday shows Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) approval numbers have plummeted in the wake of several sexual harassment allegations against him.

The poll, conducted by Saint Paul ABC affiliate KSTP and SurveyUSA and conducted on Monday, showed that out of 600 Minnesotans surveyed, only 22 percent believed he should remain in office. Thirty-three percent of those polled said they believed Franken should resign his post in the Senate.

Carleton College Political Scientist Steven Schier, who spoke with KSTP on Thursday, said that the results were “striking” and noted that there was “no demographic group in the poll where a majority say he should remain in office.” Specifically, the poll showed, only 21 percent of male respondents said he should remain in office; a similarly dismal 23 percent of female respondents gave the same answer.

Split down party lines, the results were slightly more drastic, though the overall theme remained the same: among those polled, only 12 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats approved of Franken’s decision not to resign. Among Independents, the figure hovered at 22 percent.


Overall, the poll showed that only 32 percent of respondents believed Franken would be effective at his job, should he remain in the Senate.


Those results echo poll numbers published by Morning Consult and Politico on Wednesday: in that survey, 50 percent of voters nationwide said they believed Franken should resign from the Senate over the allegations against him. In most demographics, the result was largely the same.

Franken has been accused by several women who say the former comedian made unwanted sexual advances toward them over the years. In an editorial on November 16, Leeann Tweeden wrote that Franken had groped and kissed her during a USO tour in 2006; On Monday, November 20, Lindsay Menz told CNN that Franken had “grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo at the Minnesota State Fair.”

Two other women have since come forward, telling HuffPost that Franken touched them without their consent at a Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus event in June 2007 and a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis in 2008. In the latter instance, the woman claimed Franken propositioned her, asking her to accompany him to the bathroom.

Franken has categorically denied propositioning the woman.

In a statement on Thursday, Franken apologized for his behavior, writing:

I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many. Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that.

Franken’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding the KSTP/SurveyUSA poll and subsequent calls for his resignation.