For his successor Dems are trying to push a John Kerry light in the person of Mark Dayton, once rated the worst U.S. Senator.
The Weekly Standard on the race:
Governor Pawlenty has consistently turned back DFL efforts to raise taxes in the state and initiated efforts to cut state spending drastically. While his personal popularity is mixed, the retiring governor has strengthened the significant constituency opposed to traditional DFL economic solutions outside the inner cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This constituency includes not only Republicans, but many independents and some more conservative DFLers as well.Tom Emmer is the Tea Party pick. With any luck he'll be Minnesota's in November.