Media reports are suggesting that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who has requested Senate floor time this morning, will announce that he is resigning his seat amid multiple sexual harassment allegations. The Senator’s spokespeople, however, will not confirm that Mr. Franken will resign. Should he leave office, Gov. Mark Dayton (D) will appoint a successor. Speculation suggests that he will choose Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to fill the seat, and she would be expected to do so on a caretaker basis.
If such, then a new competitive open Senate seat would be added to the 2018 political calendar. Though Minnesota is usually a reliable Democratic state, Republicans have been making serious gains. They control both houses of the legislature and hold three of eight congressional seats. And, President Trump came within 1.4 percentage points of taking Minnesota in the 2016 election. The last Republican to carry the state in a presidential contest was Richard Nixon in 1972.
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