Republicans hope that the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul may put the state in play for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The state is considered a toss-up that leans Democratic. Democrats have won the state the last eight elections, including 1984, when Minnesotans stuck with hometown favorite Walter F. Mondale.
The convention may give a boost to another hometown favorite, Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican seeking a second term who is opposed by comedian Al Franken, a Democrat.
The Senate seat has been held by Jewish lawmakers since 1978.
A recent University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute/Minnesota Public Radio poll shows Franken with a 1 percent advantage.
Coleman, a former St. Paul mayor, certainly found plenty of support and people wanting to shake his hand Sunday night as he walked around a reception for delegates and guests at the Minneapolis Convention Center.