Updated: October 30, 2020 06:42 PM
Created: October 30, 2020 03:13 PM
"It's a statistical tie," said Kathryn Pearson, University of Minnesota associate professor of political science. Pearson is referring to the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Tina Smith and Republican opponent Jason Lewis. It's a dead heat less than a week before the election.
"I think Senator Smith has the advantage of having served in the senate for around three years, having been all over the state campaigning, and Jason Lewis is, of course, well known to voters in Minnesota's second district, as he served as the second district representative in Congress for two years, but it's harder for him to gain recognition across the state," Pearson said.
Smith criticized President Donald Trump's administration for doing too little to combat the coronavirus pandemic, early on, saying, "What I think we need to do is ... have a strong national strategy and national effort to make sure that we've got tests and rapid tests in many places and that we have a strong robust effort to do contact tracing."
Lewis said, "The best thing we can do is make certain we protect the vulnerable, primarily people who are elderly and have underlying conditions ... We are locking down the young and the healthy ... That's a total mismanagement."
Regarding issues related to law enforcement, Smith said, "Too often, if you're a Black or a brown person, you have reason to be fearful, and that the police sometimes have been using excessive force."
Lewis said, "Look, we can do certain reforms and make certain due process is there for every citizen, including police officers ... But you have to give them the benefit of the doubt to restore law and order."
Regarding the U.S. Supreme Court and possibly expanding the court, Lewis said, "I don't want to put too fine a point on it, but how is this? I will fight like hell to block it."
Smith said, "I think it is premature to talk about adding justices to the Supreme Court right now in the midst of this election."
Pearson said one thing that's interesting about this U.S. Senate race compared to others in the country is there isn't a lot of outside spending. Pearson said most of the money Smith and Lewis are spending is money they've raised. Smith has raised more than $15 million while Lewis has raised over $6 million.
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