This seat is currently held by Norm Coleman (R-I only have this seat because Paul Wellstone died and some guy got carried away at his memorial service). It was once held, of course, by Paul Wellstone, one of the greatest American politicians in recent history. Lots of people could be eyeing a bid against a very vulnerable Coleman, so let's take a look.
We must begin, of course, with the elephant in the room, who is of course comedian and talk-show host and (kick ass) author, Al Franken. Franken was a friend of Wellstone's and is possibly the most intelligent candidate in the field (Kennedy School grad). However, Al would lose horribly to Norm Coleman in the general. Why? For one, we Minnesotans all remember what happened the last time we elected someone from show-business (Jesse) to statewide office. Now, a senator can't do quite the damage a governor can (I guess that is debatable though), but we don't want a repeat of that here. Another flaw--he is ultra-liberal. A lot of us are too, but we're not running for senate. Coleman has tried (somewhat successfully) to be like Sens McCain and Smith (R-AZ and OR) and build up a moderate image, while voting the party line almost all of the time. He is less popular than them, because MN is bluer than OR or AZ. Finally, I can't think of a candidate who would turn out the GOP base like Franken. Coleman isn't loved by the evangelicals here (and there are too many of them for my liking), but Franken is hated. Sorry Al, stick to your books and shows.
For some really bizarre reason, some have talked up the idea of 06 LG nominee Judi Dutcher running for senate. Whoever is saying she should run should really take a look at the 06 governor's race she ruined. How the hell can you be a Minnesota politician and not know what E85 is? Honestly! Sorry Judi, but to win this one, we need a candidate who isn't completely retarded.
Rounding out the bad possible candidates is 06 governor nominee Mike Hatch, who multiplied E85 ten-fold, by calling a reporter who asked him about it a "republican whore." In a state known for "Minnesota Nice," this guy won't get far. Mike Hatch is a partisan hack and all-around jerk who should never have been the gubernatorial nominee. If he runs, the IP (Independence party) will again get a big protest vote.
On to the good candidates.
My personal choice would be Congresswoman Betty McCollum. Although rumor has it that she is a good friend of Pelosi, and trying to fast-track her way into house leadership, McCollum would be a great candidate. She's definitely liberal, but so was Klobuchar who got 58% of the vote in an open seat. She reminds me very much of Sen-Elect Klobuchar, who recently walked into a senate seat. She has little name ID atm, which is good in this state (again, see Klobuchar). In my opinion, she is the most viable candidate.
Next up is Minneapolis mayor RT Ryback. Ryback, who I'm less familiar with, could count on great Twin Cities turnout and could follow in the footsteps of the last minneapolis mayor to become senator, Hubert Humphrey. He'll have a little baggage recently, due to his self-picked fire chief who turned out to be a dud, but that will doubtedly taint his chances. He has better name ID than McCollum, and I'm not sure where he would stand right now. Certainly could win though.
Edit: Add former state sen and gubernatorial candidate Beckey Lourey to the list of good candidates. (not in the poll)
Defeated State Sen Majority leader may also be planning a run. I would never support him in a primary, due to his love for banning gay marriage. He used to be a republican, and since he couldn't win re-election, he's almost out of consideration.
Wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi may also be eyeing a bid, but his self-funding ability is his only advantage.
Interesting Wildcards: While he personally has indicated no plans to run for senate, it would be interesting if former congressman Tim Penny (D-MN-01) and former indepence party gubernatorial nominee would try to run as a joint-endorsee of the DFL and IP. It's doubtful, especially since he's a social conservative.
Congressman-elect (From my district) Tim Walz (D-MN-01) is also talked about, but he's almost certain not to run. He can turn out the DFL base like no one since Paul Wellstone, but he is only a one-termer, and said on MPR's mid day that he's not running (so he won't be in the poll). If we don't knock off Coleman in 08, he could always try at it in 14.
So that's the list, be sure to vote in the poll, and if there's someone else you want, be sure to mention them