MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Between the pandemic, civil unrest and the heated Presidential race, some important political races are getting less attention than they normally would.
One of those races is the U.S. Senate contest between Sen. Tina Smith and former U.S. Congressman Jason Lewis.
Sen. Tina Smith is up for re-election — again. In January 2018, Smith was nominated by then-governor Mark Dayton to fill the seat left open by Sen. Al Franken who resigned.
Smith had to run just ten months later and easily beat her Republican opponent State Senator Karin Housley by more than 10 points. But now she has to run again because 2020 is the year Franken’s term would have expired.
The most recent poll by Emerson Polling shows Smith leading Lewis 48% to 45%, with 7% undecided. But that is within the poll’s margin of error of 3.6%.
National polling analyst Real Clear Politics has moved the Minnesota race from leaning Democrat to toss up — it is one of about ten races that will decide who controls the U.S. Senate.
It’s relatively unusual for a sitting Senator to lose an election, Smith who appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning, says she is not taking anything for granted.
“Minnesota is the land of close elections, we specialize in elections that are right down to the wire so I don’t think it is that surprising and I think its really going to be all about who turns out,” Smith said.
Smith holds a considerable advantage in fundraising — she has raised more than $10 million and has $5 million in the bank right now.
Lewis has raised more than $2 million but has spent almost all of it. But with the polls in this and the Presidential race tightening, Lewis will almost certainly get a large fundraising boost.