MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The latest poll in the U.S. Senate race shows the gap has not tightened between the leading candidates in Minnesota.

The latest KSTP/Survey USA poll shows Senator Al Franken leading businessman Mike McFadden 51 to 40 percent. Franken has had a lead like that in almost every poll going back to spring.

It was a very different situation six years ago when it took seven months, a recount and a court battle for Franken to finally be declared the winner by the narrowest of margins. That may explain why the Senator despite the polls is careful not to sound overconfident.

“When you win by 312 votes, you don’t take anything for granted,” Franken said.

Arriving at a rally in north Minneapolis, Franken said his focus is getting out the vote. It was many of several stops the Senator made with other DFL candidates and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Meanwhile, McFadden campaigned alongside 6th District candidate Tom Emmer, telling voters in Mankato that Franken needs to go.

“We are falling behind. This economy has been absolutely stagnant for six years under Al Franken and President Obama, real wages have not going up, but every expense has gone up, whether it be food, gasoline and, now, health care,” McFadden said.

At stops throughout the state Monday, McFadden continued to emphasize that Franken has supported President Obama 97 percent of the time. Linking candidates to President Obama has helped Republican candidates in other states, but the consistent polls here show McFadden has not gotten the same mileage.

“At this point, there is no evidence in the polls that Mike McFadden is closing the race with Senator Franken,” said political analyst and University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobs.

Historically, Democrats have not turned out in lower numbers in non-Presidential election years. That is something Democrats are hoping to prevent and Republicans, including Mike McFadden, are hoping they can take advantage of.

Esme Murphy