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MN-Senate: The Body is...Out

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) will not run for the Senate in 2008, bringing to an end a wild week of speculation about the impact the former pro wrestler would have had on one of the marquee contests of this election.

"I'll tell you now that I'm not going to run at this moment," Ventura told CNN's Larry King earlier tonight.

Ventura's announcement came less than 24 hours before the federal filing deadline for a contest in which Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and entertainer Al Franken (D) are already running.

It also came just a few hours after a new poll was released that showed Ventura would have been a major factor had he decided to run as a third party candidate. In the poll, which was conducted by Survey USA for a local television station, Coleman led with 43 percent to Franken's 27 percent and Ventura's 26 percent. Without Ventura in the race, Coleman led Franken 52 percent to 39 percent.

While the poll suggests an uphill climb for Franken, Ventura's decision not to run is almost certain to benefit the former "Saturday Night Live" star. Franken and Ventura share positions on a number of issues -- including their opposition to the war in Iraq -- and the presence of Ventura on the ballot would have turned the race into a circus that would have worked to Franken's detriment.

From a pure political junkie perspective, however, Ventura's decision robs Fixistas of what could have been a race for the ages in Minnesota.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 14, 2008; 9:57 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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