Minnesota Democrats Hit ‘Panic Button,’ Drop $1.1 Million On Negative Housley Ads to Save Appointed Sen. Smith

Minnesota Republicans are in striking distance of former Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) seat, and national Democratic Party leaders are finally starting to take notice.

Smith, who was appointed to replace Franken after he resigned, still leads in most polls, but received considerable criticism after skipping the only debate televised statewide. Her opponent, Republican Karin Housley capitalized on Smith’s absence, giving her the Trumpian-style nickname of “No Show Tina,” and running a scathing campaign ad featuring Smith’s empty podium at the debate.

With momentum on Housley’s side, national Democratic organizations are now spending roughly $1.1 million on attack ads against her in the final days of the campaign.

“Senate Dems are finally realizing that Tina Smith is completely out of touch with Minnesota voters and in serious trouble,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Michael McAdams said in a press release. “Minnesotans want nothing to do with a Senator who wants their vote yet can’t even show up to debate her opponent.”

On Tuesday, the Senate Majority PAC (SMP) dropped $400,000 on negative ad buys against Housley, according to the Federal Election Commission.

“Six days out and Senate Dems are hitting the panic button in Minnesota in a last-ditch effort to save Tina Smith,” McAdams responded.

Following SMP’s example, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is now reportedly spending $700,000 in ad buys against Housley, and is expected to starting airing its ads Thursday.

“National Democrats just dumped another $700K in ads against me,” Housley responded. “We’ve made this a race and they know it. Let’s. Do. This.”

To Smith’s credit, she will be attending a Thursday night debate hosted by 830 WCCO, which will be broadcast on Facebook Live.

According to The Star Tribune, Smith has outraised Housley by more than $4 million, bringing in $8.2 million in donations compared to Housley’s $4 million.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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