The Big Story Blog

AP: Bachmann plans to seek old 6th District seat

Posted at 1:37 PM on February 21, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Politics

From the Associated Press:

Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann says she will run for her old 6th District seat even though newly drawn congressional maps put her home in the 4th District.

Bachmann would face an eventual battle against Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum if she stays in the 4th. McCollum is a six-term incumbent.

Members of Congress don't have to live in the district they represent, so Bachmann is free to run wherever she likes. She says she doesn't know if she'll establish a residence in the new 6th District.

UPDATE: My MPR News colleague Bob Collins posted a terrific analysis on why Bachmann wouldn't be able to win a contest in the redrawn 4th district. He writes:
Assuming McCollum maintains her support in Saint Paul and the inner ring, Bachmann would have had to significantly increase her support in the suburbs east of Saint Paul to have a shot at unseating the DFLer.

It's not that kind of GOP turf. Communities like Woodbury and other Washington County cities voted for Barack Obama in 2008, even while supporting a much-more-moderate-than-Bachmann Norm Coleman in the U.S. Senate race. Meanwhile, Bachmann's "old" district gave McCain the strongest showing he had in Minnesota.

But while supporting Coleman in that election, Bachmann's new "stronghold" didn't support Bachmann.

It's not impossible for a Republican to win in the 4th, but the Republican strength in the district is more of the Jim Ramstad mold than the Michele Bachmann model.

Meanwhile, the "new 6th" appears to be as safe a Republican district as exists in most places in the country. It likely won't care if the person holding the seat actually lives in the district. Any parochial issues have played second-fiddle to national conservative ideals for years.

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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