A new poll shows that Minnesota Democrats are fighting to hang on to the state’s Eighth Congressional District, which has leaned blue for nearly 70 years.
The new poll comes out of The New York Times’ partnership with Siena College, which has a goal of polling “dozens of the most competitive House and Senate races across the country.”
According to the poll, Republican Pete Stauber trails Democrat Joe Radinovich by just one percentage point, with the two earning 43 percent and 44 percent of the vote respectively. The seat, which represents the northeastern iron ranges of Minnesota, was deemed a toss up after incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN-08) decided against seeking reelection.
The poll notes that “no battleground district swung more from Barack Obama to Donald Trump” in the 2016 election, calling it one of the “best pick-up opportunities” for Republicans.
The Minnesota GOP, however, is facing a tough challenge in the Third Congressional District, where first-time candidate Dean Phillips is running against incumbent Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03), who has won reelection every cycle since 2008. The Times and Sienna College now have Phillips leading Paulsen 51 percent to 42 percent.
Minnesota’s First Congressional District is guaranteed to be another competitive race, mostly because incumbent Rep. Tim Walz (D-01-MN) left the seat open after announcing his campaign for Minnesota’s governor. The latest poll shows Republican Jim Hagedorn leading Democrat Dan Feehan by 14 points, though Feehan’s campaign contested the results of the internal poll. The open seat is one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s top targets for the midterm elections.
Minnesota’s Congressional Districts are receiving significant attention from national Republican leaders. Using his Twitter influence, President Trump offered his “total endorsement” for Republican Dave Hughes, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District.
“Dave Hughes is running for Congress in the great state of Minnesota,” Trump tweeted. “He will help us accomplish our America First policies, is strong on crime, the border, and our Second Amendment, Trade, Military and Vets.”
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