Katie Kieffer

Look out Sen. Al Franken; talk radio host Jason Lewis will soon replace you in the U.S. Senate.

Conservative-libertarian talk radio host Jason Lewis is seriously entertaining a run against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken in 2014. It will not be a slam-dunk, but Lewis can pull off a win for the following four reasons:

1. Franken Never Won Fair and Square

Remember when Franken “beat” former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman by a scant 312 votes in 2008 and 1,009 votes were later determined to come from felons? Well, this time around, everyone in the country will be paying close attention to the voting process and the votes that come through for Franken. Felons will not be able to just slip in and potentially determine the contest.

2. Franken is not Klobuchar

Last fall, Kurt Bills made a strong and courageous run against Franken’s pal in the senate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar. But he lost. Big time. Klobuchar beat Bills by over 2 to 1, garnering 60.5 percent of the vote compared to his 31.1 percent.

Klobuchar has a massive following in Minnesota, including many businesspeople who have bowed to her tempting tactic of handing out goodies to their industries. For instance, she did her best to “boost” Minnesota’s auto industry by advancing the federal Cash for Clunkers rebate program (which incidentally did more harm than good to the environment). In January, Public Policy Polling crowned Klobuchar with a 65 percent approval ranking as the “Second Most Popular Senator in the Country.”

Franken simply does not have the luxury of “feeling the love” the way Klobuchar does when she returns from D.C. to the land of 10,000 lakes. He only had a 52 percent approval ranking as of this January. Also, while pollsters say that Franken has a good chance of winning in 2014, this is largely because they have only ranked him against a weak bench of tired GOP candidates. Pollsters have not ranked him against a challenging candidate like Lewis.

3. It’s an off-year election and Minnesotans want reform

I recently interviewed Lewis to learn more about his campaign plans. He said: “I’m thinking about it. I’m running around the state in a testing mode right now. There is a massive overreach of government from Washington to St. Paul. There is a great silent majority out there that I will speak to and energize. Plus, this will be an off-year election, which is always more favorable to the party out of power. Just a few years ago, we had a Republican House and Senate and governor in the state of Minnesota. I think 2014 is going to be a good year for Republicans.”

Jason added: “Franken is extremely vulnerable on things like war because independent voters are tired of Obama’s ‘War Inc.’ First, Franken was for military action, especially in Iraq; then, he was against it for the 2008 election; then in favor of Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan and Libya. He also sided with the president on the Patriot Act renewal and drone killings. Furthermore, he’s vulnerable on medical device taxes (he has flip-flopped multiple times for and against taxes on the medical device industry, which is very strong in Minnesota).”

4. Jason has a high name ID and will raise cash

As an author (Power Divided is Power Checked) and a nationally syndicated talk radio host, Jason Lewis has built a loyal following of conservative, libertarian and moderate voters in Minnesota who are attracted to his rational voice and clear solutions to complex economic and social issues.

Lewis has over 60 affiliate radio stations across the country and in 2011 he was named one of "The Heavy Hundred" most important talk radio show hosts in the nation by Talkers Magazine. Although he would take a break from doing his talk show to run his campaign, Lewis’ fans around the country have already expressed their support for his run, including promises to donate their time and money.

Lewis estimates that he will need to raise between $11 and $12 million to compete with Franken, who he thinks will try to raise around $15 million.

Here is something worth smiling about: When Lewis replaces Franken in the U.S. Senate, ‘Minnesota Nice’ will return to Washington.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is a columnist and political commentator. She runs KatieKieffer.com. Kieffer is the author of the forthcoming book "LET ME BE CLEAR."