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Poll: Smith leads Lewis in U.S. Senate race

Plus: appeals court temporarily halts a six-day extension for counting absentee ballots in Wisconsin; NY Times says Trump paid $750 in taxes the year he won the presidency; Twins open MLB playoffs against Houston Astros; and more.

Sen. Tina Smith
MinnPost photo by Lorie Shaull
Sen. Tina Smith
For the Star Tribune, Torey Van Oot reports, “Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith holds a lead over Republican challenger Jason Lewis in her bid for a full six-year term in the U.S. Senate, according to a new Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota Poll. With Election Day less than six weeks away, Minnesota voters said they prefer Smith by an eight-point margin, 49 to 41%. But 10% of voters remain undecided. Smith’s lead appears to be bolstered by strong support in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, where nearly seven in 10 voters back her bid. But she trails Lewis, a former congressman and radio personality, by 6 percentage points in the outer Twin Cities suburbs, home to politically decisive swing districts. She also trails by more than 20 percentage points in northern Minnesota.”

For the Associated Press, Todd Richmond writes: “A federal appeals court on Sunday temporarily halted a six-day extension for counting absentee ballots in Wisconsin’s presidential election, a momentary victory for Republicans and President Donald Trump in the key presidential battleground state. As it stands, ballots will now be due by 8 p.m. on Election Day. A lower court judge had sided with Democrats and their allies to extend the deadline until Nov. 9. Democrats sought more time as a way to help deal with an expected historic high number of absentee ballots.”

A story by The New York Times’ Russ Buettner, Susanne Child and Mike McIntyre reports: “Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

Says Lisa Shumaker for Reuters, “The number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 is topping 25% in several states in the U.S. Midwest as cases and hospitalizations also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis. North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with 6% the prior week. The positivity rate has risen to 26% in South Dakota, up from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from The COVID Tracking Project. Minnesota and Montana are averaging 7% of tests coming back positive, but Montana’s positivity rate rose on Sunday to 20%, according to the analysis.”

At MPR, there’s this: “Wisconsin health officials on Sunday reported 2,217 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth day in a row the state has confirmed more than 2,000 positive tests. The update showed a positivity rate of 27.6 percent for the more than 8,000 COVID-19 test results processed in the last day. That’s an indicator that many more people have infections than tests are revealing; keeping that rate below 5 percent is often cited as a goal by health officials. Wisconsin reported a single-day record of 2,817 new cases on Saturday.”

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A Star Tribune story says, “A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to a federal arson charge in connection with the arson of a St. Paul car rental business during the unrest following George Floyd’s death. Matthew Scott White, 32, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of arson in connection with the May 28 fire at Enterprise Rent-A-Car on University Avenue in St. Paul which completely destroyed the building.”

For MPR, Hannah Yang writes: “Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn and DFL challenger Dan Feehan outlined their differing views on health care, civil unrest in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, and Minnesota’s COVID-19 response in a debate Sunday. This election to represent Minnesota’s 1st District is a rematch of 2018, when Hagedorn narrowly defeated Feehan for the seat vacated by Democrat Tim Walz, who successfully ran for governor. …Health care was a central focus of Sunday’s debate, hosted by KEYC-TV in Mankato.”

In the Pioneer Press, Jace Frederick writes: “Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley was arrested at his west suburban home Saturday night on charges of possession of a controlled substance and receiving and concealing stolen property, according to Hennepin County jail logs. Beasley was released from jail Sunday afternoon. The Athletic was the first to report the arrest.”

As for the Twins, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune says, “A bullpen blowup in their home park is not how Rocco Baldelli and his players wanted to close this bizarre season. But in terms of the postseason, it was the best-case scenario, because by losing, the Twins avoided a first-round matchup with the White Sox, whose powerful lineup and a starters Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel make them a dangerous opponent. Instead, the Twins will open a best-of-three series at Target Field on Tuesday against the Houston Astros, at 29-31 the only AL playoff team with a losing record.”

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