----------PAST KEY RACES----------
2016: President | MN-2 | MN-3 | MN-8
2014: Governor | Senate | MN-1 | MN-2 | MN-7 | MN-8
2012: President | Senate | MN-6 | MN-8
2010: Governor | MN-1 | MN-6 | MN-7 | MN-8
2008: President | Senate | MN-3 | MN-6
2006: Senate | Governor | MN-6
|Final Results||--||--||--||53.0||42.4||Smith +10.6|
|KSTP/SurveyUSAKSTP-TV||10/29 - 10/31||600 LV||5.3||48||40||Smith +8|
|Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon*Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon*||10/15 - 10/17||800 LV||3.5||47||41||Smith +6|
|NBC News/MaristNBC/Marist||9/30 - 10/4||637 LV||4.9||54||38||Smith +16|
|Star Tribune/Mason-DixonStar Tribune||9/10 - 9/12||800 LV||3.5||44||37||Smith +7|
|KSTP/SurveyUSAKSTP-TV||9/6 - 9/8||574 LV||4.9||48||39||Smith +9|
|Suffolk*Suffolk*||8/17 - 8/20||500 LV||4.4||44||37||Smith +7|
|EmersonEmerson||8/8 - 8/11||500 LV||4.6||32||28||Smith +4|
|NBC News/MaristNBC/Marist||7/15 - 7/19||876 RV||4.0||49||35||Smith +14|
9/13/18 -- The polling in this race has been surprisingly close, and Democrat Tina Smith is below 50 percent in the polls. With that said, the national environment is probably too much for Karin Housley to overcome.
It is difficult to imagine today, but before the 1940s there was no Democratic Party in Minnesota to speak of. From the election of Abraham Lincoln through 1948, it had never elected a Democratic senator (though one was appointed for a two-month stint in 1900). It sent a total of 15 Democrats to Congress during that time. But the Democratic Party fused with the left-leaning Farmer-Labor Party in 1944 and created a dominant force in state politics. From 1948 through 1978 the tables were turned: the state elected just one Republican senator.
In the mid-'70s, the DFL began to decline in popularity, and for a time the state had two Republican senators. Today it is thought of as a swing state, even though it hasn't voted Republican at the presidential level since 1972.
Al Franken was elected in 2008 by a slight 300-vote margin over Republican Norm Coleman. He was re-elected in 2014 but resigned from the Senate in early 2018 in the face of sexual misconduct allegations. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith was appointed to take his place, and will seek a full term against Republican state Sen. Karin Housley.