Poll: Dems maintain double-digit leads in Minnesota Senate races

Poll: Dems maintain double-digit leads in Minnesota Senate races
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Sens. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithContractor back pay not included in shutdown deal Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock Dems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt MORE (D) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHarry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus Gillibrand to appear on Fox News Monday night Overnight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run MORE (D) have double-digit leads in their reelection bids over their Republican opponents in Minnesota, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll released Wednesday.

Smith, who was appointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) to fill the remainder of former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenVirginia can be better than this Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors Virginia scandals pit Democrats against themselves and their message MORE’s term, has a 16-point edge over Republican state Senator Karin Housley.

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About 54 percent of likely voters support Smith, while 38 percent support Housley and seven percent are undecided.

While both candidates have net-positive favorability ratings, Smith’s margin is noticeably wider than that of Housley.

About 51 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Smith, compared to 26 percent who have an unfavorable view. About 32 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Housley, while 25 percent view her negatively. 

Housley also suffers from lower name recognition, with 42 percent of likely voters saying they have not heard of her.

The race is rated "lean Democratic" by The Cook Political Report.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota's second Senate race, Klobuchar has a 30-point lead over Republican state Rep. Jim Newberger, earning the support of 63 percent of likely voters compared to Newberger’s 33 percent. 

The favorability rating gap in this race resembles Smith’s race, with both candidates having net-positive ratings but Klobuchar attaining a higher margin.

About 64 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Klobuchar, while 29 percent have an unfavorable one. Approximately 30 percent of likely voters view Newberger favorably, while 20 have an unfavorable view.

A full half of likely voters say they have not heard of Newberger.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE, who has endorsed both Housley and Newberger, is broadly unpopular, however. About 38 percent of likely voters approve of the job he is doing, while 56 percent disapprove.

The partisan chaos in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSmollett saga shows it's no mistake when media target conservatives Supreme Court clamps down on 'excessive fines' by states The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency MORE, who was publicly accused by three women of sexual misconduct, electrified Senate races across the country, and Minnesota’s races are no different.

About 30 percent of likely voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported Kavanaugh’s nomination, while 48 percent said they would be less likely. Both Smith and Klobuchar voted against Kavanaugh.

Cook rates Klobuchar’s race as “Solid Democratic.”

The poll surveyed 637 likely voters from Sept. 30-Oct. 4 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.