- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Cook Political Report changed its rating for Minnesota’s Senate race to “tossup” in the wake of Sen. Al Franken’s resignation on Thursday.

Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota Democrat, will appoint a replacement until a special election is held in Nov. 2018. Mr. Franken was not up for re-election this next cycle, but due to the timing of his announcement and Minnesota state law, the special election will be held during the regular November election.

Mr. Dayton is likely to appoint someone Democrats would want to run in the midterms next year leaving many to speculate Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is the top pick.

Fellow Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is also up for re-election leaving Minnesota with both Senate seats up in the election cycle, as well as the governor’s seat. Mr. Dayton decided not to run for another term.

Although widely considered a blue state, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton only won the state in by just over 43,000 votes in the 2016 presidential race, and Mr. Franken won his 2008 race by narrow margins as well.

Republicans have already began targeting blue congressional districts where President Trump performed well to try and gain some ground in the state.

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