Both of Minnesota’s Senate seats will technically be up for grabs in next month’s midterm elections, although the results of a new NBC News/Marist poll show the Democratic candidates with big leads in both races in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Senator Tina Smith, D-Minn., who was appointed to replace former Senator Al Franken, D-Minn., in January, leads Republican state Senator Karin Housley by 54 percent to 38 percent among likely voters in the race to serve the remainder of Franken’s term.
Smith benefits from a positive 51 percent to 26 percent favorability rating, while a plurality of likely voters said they have either never heard of Housley or are unsure how to rate her.
“Senator Smith is well on her way to be elected,” said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “She is favorably viewed by Minnesota voters unlike her opponent who has not gained traction.”
The poll showed an even more substantial advantage for Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who leads Republican state Representative Jim Newberger by 60 percent to 32 percent among likely voters in her race for re-election to a third term.
Sixty-four percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Klobuchar compared to just 29 percent that view her unfavorably, while 50 percent of likely voters have either never heard of Newberger or are unsure how to rate him.
“Senator Klobuchar is well positioned to win re-election,” said Miringoff. “She is widely popular and has a loyal following. Newberger is largely unknown.”
The results of the poll suggest the Democratic advantage in Minnesota could also extend to several closely watched House races in the North Star State.
Fifty-three percent of registered voters said they were more likely to vote for the Democrat in their district if the election were held today, while 41 percent said they were more likely to vote for the Republican.
Forecasts by political websites 270toWin and FiveThirtyEight both rate five of Minnesota’s eight House races as competitive.
The NBC News/Marist survey of 949 adults was conducted September 30th through October 4th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.
The results among 860 registered voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, while the results among 637 likely voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
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