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Though the U.S. Senate race seemed to hold the most promise for a close race, it was the governor's race in Minnesota that grabbed the election-night headlines. Incumbent Tim Pawlenty held onto his office by just 22,000 votes over DFLer Mike Hatch. But Pawlenty saw his GOP colleagues swept out of office. In the Senate race, DFLer Amy Klobuchar easily beat Rep. Mark Kennedy.

The retirement of Sen. Mark Dayton sparked early interest in the campaign, with Rep. Mark Kennedy jumping in early. But a year later, Kennedy emerged as the lone Republican for the job, and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar's strength was forcing several Democrats, including Patty Wetterling, out of the race.

The Senate race immediately attracted national attention, but as Klobuchar surged ahead of Kennedy in the polls, much national attention turned to the 6th District, where Patty Wetterling and state Sen. Michele Bachmann were the major contenders. Bachmann beat Wettlerling. It was Wetterling's second straight loss in the district. In the 5th, Rep. Keith Ellison became the first Muslim congressman. And in the 1st, incumbent Gil Gutknecht was defeated by DFLer Tim Walz.
Polinaut
Minnesota Public Radio's Polinaut blog explores the universe of campaigns and politics. Come join us in the search for intelligent life.
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Theory: our politicians can behave an awful lot like seventh graders. Fact: Seventh grade is a great place to break into politics. (10/19/2006)
Democratic congressional candidate Keith Ellison is accusing a St. Louis Park woman of working with a Minneapolis writer to blackmail his campaign. (10/19/2006)
Political campaigns are employing campaign trackers to videotape the candidates anywhere they make a public appearance. It's becoming a common practice especially after a senator from Virginia came under fire for making some controversial remarks. (10/18/2006)
Rep. Jim Oberstar, D Minn., who has represented Minnesota's 8th District for almost 32 years, is facing a well-known challeger this year: former Sen. Rod Grams, R-Minn. Midday presents their Oct. 17 debate in Grand Rapids. (Midday, 10/18/2006)
The three major party candidates for the 5th Congressional District seat met for a debate Tuesday evening at a St. Louis Park synagogue. DFLer Keith Ellison, Republican Alan Fine and Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee were asked their views on health care, the war in Iraq and the United States' relationship with Israel. (10/18/2006)
A watchdog group filed a complaint with the IRS Tuesday against a Minnesota church, claiming the pastor violated the church's tax-exempt status by endorsing GOP congressional candidate Michele Bachmann Saturday night. (10/17/2006)
Minnesota lost nearly 13,000 jobs in September, the third largest monthly job loss in more than 50 years. (10/17/2006)
A new poll shows Patty Wetterling is the frontrunner in the 6th District race. But Republicans say the poll isn't credible. (10/17/2006)
Former U.S. Reps. Tim Penny, D-Minn., and Vin Weber, R-Minn., have seen their share of elections. Penny and Weber discussed the issues that will decide this year's election Oct. 9 at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute. (Midday, 10/17/2006)
DFLer Amy Klobuchar explains what she would do if she gets to take Mark Dayton's place in the U.S. Senate -- part of Midday's Meet the Candidates series. (Midday, 10/17/2006)
Public safety is traditionally an important issue for voters, especially those living in areas touched by drugs or violence. (10/17/2006)
Republicans and Democrats are targeting suburbs that used to be safely Republican, but where Democrats have been gaining ground in the last couple of elections. (10/16/2006)
The nasty tone of a debate in Blaine carried over from the negative TV ads both Patty Wetterling and Michele Bachmann have been running. (10/16/2006)
If there's ever an acceptable time to approach complete strangers and question them about their personal politics, it's right now. (10/16/2006)
A Star Tribune poll shows DFL challenger Mike Hatch pulling ahead of incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty in the Minnesota governor's race. (10/16/2006)

Election Wrap-up

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