Minnesota Democrats have double-digit leads as Trump drags down GOP


Minnesotans are embracing strong Democratic candidates at all levels, from Tina Smith to Ginny Klevorn.

Democrats are doing extremely well in Minnesota, where Trump's unpopularity is dragging down Republicans statewide.

Democrats have double-digit leads in both the Senate and governor's races, according to a recent poll from NBC News/Marist. Sen. Tina Smith leads Republican Karin Housley 54 percent to 38 percent, while Democrat Tim Walz is up 55 percent to 38 percent against his Republican opponent, Jeff Johnson.

Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by a fairly narrow margin of 1.5 percent in 2016 — but since then, Trump's approval has plummeted. Just 38 percent of Minnesotans approve of the job Trump has done as president, while a strong 56 percent disapprove.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar — who notably took on Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh — has a sky-high approval rating in her home state of 64 percent.

At the local level, Republicans representing suburban districts, like state Rep. Sarah Anderson, are facing headwinds.

Anderson represents Minnesota House of Representatives District 44A, which is just 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis. But voters in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) back Democratic candidates by a large margin of 69 to 27 percent, according to the NBC/Marist poll.

That margin is much higher than the overall percentage of Minnesota voters who said they prefer Democratic control of Congress, which is 54 percent.

Based on this polling, voters in District 44A may be far more likely to pick a candidate like Ginny Klevorn, Anderson's opponent. While Anderson has a history of strongly supporting the NRA, Klevorn is a strong advocate for gun safety and affordable health care.

Trump is dragging down his party even in states where he enjoyed success just two years ago.

And in states Trump narrowly lost, like Minnesota, local Republicans are struggling even more from being saddled with Trump — while statewide Democrats are thriving.