Beyond the Headlines: Mid-term elections

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DULUTH, MN — It’s hard to believe, but November’s mid-term elections are just days away.

And the months leading up to the big day have left us with no shortage of news to talk about.

In this episode of Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe is recapping the biggest races in both Minnesota and Wisconsin with KBJR 6’s political expert, Dr. Cindy Rugeley. That includes races for governor in both states, along with some high stakes U.S. Senator seats, and more.

Arguably the most watched race that has everyone’s attention, from Northeastern Minnesota, to the President himself: Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District race. It’s considered by some to be the GOP’s best chance at flipping a House seat this November.

And the issues facing the 8th are plentiful.

In a region full of timber workers, miners, and many other industries that have large union workforces, union endorsement could be a tipping point for whoever emerges victorious in the race.

Democrat Joe Radinovich has picked up nearly two dozen union endorsements ranging from miners, to health care, and trade jobs.

Republican Pete Stauber counters that with a long history of being involved in police union, and has picked up the endorsement from the local chapter of Minnesota’s largest union that represents law enforcement, as well as other law enforcement associations.

Independent Ray “Skip” Sandman hasn’t picked up any endorsements, but says that’s because of his anti-copper-nickle mining stance. He also says that doesn’t mean he’s anti-union.

Meanwhile, a recent poll finds Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith leading their Republican challengers in their races for U.S. Senate, with Smith locked in a much tighter race in a special election.

The latest Minnesota Public Radio News – Star Tribune poll shows Smith leading Republican nominee Karin Housley 47 percent to 41 percent in the race for her Senate seat. Housley gained one percentage point since the last poll in September.

With 10-percent still undecided and 2-percent voting for another candidate, the race could swing either way on November 6th.

As for Klobuchar, she leads her Republican opponent Jim Newberger 56 percent to 33 percent, with 7-percent undecided.

Across the bridge, a report shows Republicans and Democratic groups have poured nearly $24 million into Wisconsin elections.

Government watchdog group ‘Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’ released findings last week that show Republican express advocacy groups have spent more than $17 million. And Democratic express advocacy groups have spent about $6.5 million.

Billy Wagness

Billy Wagness

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