Poll: Tina Smith's lead over probable GOP challenger within margin of error in Minnesota Senate race

Poll: Tina Smith's lead over probable GOP challenger within margin of error in Minnesota Senate race
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls Smith wins reelection in Minnesota Democrats expand Senate map, putting GOP on defense MORE (D-Minn.) is statistically tied with her probable Republican challenger, former Rep. Jason LewisJason LewisRep. Angie Craig defends Minnesota House seat in race clouded by legal confusion Smith wins reelection in Minnesota Klobuchar 'feeling good' about Democrats taking control of Senate MORE, according to a new poll. 

Smith has 48 percent support compared to Lewis’s 45 percent, according to an Emerson College poll released Tuesday. Smith’s 3-point lead is within the poll’s 3.6 percentage point margin of error. 

The poll found an additional 7 percent of voters are still undecided. 


The results of the survey were released the day of the Minnesota primary. Lewis is expected to win the primary race, but he’s heading into a tough battle against Smith in November.

A Republican has not won statewide office in Minnesota since 2006. The state's last Republican senator was Norm Coleman, who left office in 2009 after losing to former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory MORE (D).  

Smith succeeded Franken, assuming office Jan. 3, 2018, after Franken resigned. She won a special general election in 2018, but is seeking election to her first full term. 

The Cook Political Report rates the race between Smith and Lewis “solid” for the Democratic candidate. Smith has also far outraised Lewis. The Democrat has raised more than $10 million, while Lewis has raised about $2.5 million, according to the Federal Election Commission records

Lewis was a radio show host and conservative commentator for years. In 2016, he won a seat in Minnesota’s 2nd District, but he only served one term after he was unseated by Democrat Angie Craig. 

Ahead of the primary, though, Lewis gained a public endorsement from President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE. The president tweeted his support for Lewis on Monday, calling him a “proven leader who will help us Lower your Taxes, Protect our Communities and Defend your Second Amendment.” 

The Emerson poll is based on surveys with 733 likely registered voters. The surveys were conducted Aug. 8-10. There is a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.