Poll: Race for U.S. Senate seat a dead heat

Updated: October 21, 2020 10:42 PM

The race for the U.S. Senate seat is now a dead heat. 

In a new WDIO/Survey USA poll, incumbent Democratic Senator Tina Smith leads Republican challenger Jason Lewis by a 43-to-42 percent margin with 13 days until election day.

The statewide pre-election tracking poll of 673 registered Minnesota voters has a margin of error of plus or minus five percent.  That places the race between Smith, who was elected to the seat in 2018 to fill the remainder of former Senator Al Franken's term, and Lewis, a conservative radio talk show host, as a toss up.

In mid-September, Lewis trailed Smith by an 11-point margin.  Two weeks ago, Lewis cut into Smith's lead to within seven points.  Today, that lead is only one percent.

What's behind the tightening race?  According to SurveyUSA pollsters, it appears Lewis is picking up increased support in the latest poll from more self-identified conservatives, lower-income voters, and women.

Despite the tightening race, Smith remains popular with voters.  37 percent of those asked said they had either a favorable or extremely favorable opinion of Smith, who previously served as Minnesota's Lieutenant Governor.  32 percent say they have an unfavorable or extremely unfavorable opinion of Smith.  By comparison, Lewis received a favorable rating 26 percent to an unfavorable rating of 25 percent.

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