Pivotal moment?

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If interim U.S. senator Tina Smith (D-MN) ends up being defeated by her GOP opponent (and my pal) Karin Housley in two weeks, this photo will encapsulate the reason.

Photo courtesy of Max Rymer

Sunday evening was debate night for many of the key statewide races in Minnesota. It was the first opportunity for many voters to see a contrast between the two main candidates for the respective offices. Yet Smith, who is currently the junior U.S. Senator from MN despite not having earned a single vote for the position, didn't feel the need to show up and explain to her constituents why she deserves another two years. It's almost as if she feels she can run out the clock these next two weeks and emerge victorious.

Make no mistake that Housley has trailed throughout this campaign and her ultimately winning remains a very tall order. However, if Karin pulls this off, Sunday evening could easily be the defining moment of Smith's implosion.