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 SmithAl Franken reflects on 'the experience of women in this country' in Thanksgiving note Minnesota New Members 2019 Senate GOP beats expectations with expanded majority MORE (D) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Warren unveils bill to lower drug prices by letting government manufacture them Klobuchar moves up in Iowa poll of 2020 Dems 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 FrankenCongress sends bill overhauling sexual harassment policy to Trump's desk Senate approves bill reforming Congress's sexual harassment policy Kamala Harris to keep seat on Judiciary Committee 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 TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate 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 KavanaughDemocrats will fail if they portray William Barr as controversial pick ‘Justice’ selected as Merriam-Webster’s 2018 word of the year Chief justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation 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.