Ugly Debate Wraps Up Minn. Senate Race

Coleman, Franken trade insults in front of catcalling audience
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2008 8:19 AM CST

(Newser) – Minnesota's Senate race is going down to the wire, and a debate last night in St. Paul between Norm Coleman and Al Franken descended into angry, personal attacks. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, Franken laid into the GOP incumbent for taking money from a "political sugar daddy," while Coleman blasted his opponent for making "jokes about rape" during his years as a comedian.

Despite the moderator's best efforts, audience members booed, cheered, and even catcalled during the debate. Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton arrive in the state today to help their parties' candidates in what has become the most vicious race of the year. Franken holds a small lead in polling, but the race has been complicated by a third-party candidate: Dean Barkley, whom Jesse Ventura appointed to fill a Senate seat for 2 months and who is polling double digits.