A new poll commissioned by Jim Graves, the DFL challenger to Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, shows the two candidates effectively tied in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.
The poll, which surveyed 401 likely voters and was conducted between August 29-30, shows that 48 percent are planning to vote for Bachmann while 46 percent are planning to vote for Graves, a local hotelier. That's within the survey's 4.9 percentage point margin of error.
Six percent of those surveyed said they don't know who they'll vote for.
The poll was paid for by the Graves campaign and conducted by a Democratic polling firm.
Bachmann spokesman Chase Kroll said that's not something that should be ignored, but did not respond to questions about the Bachmann campaign's own internal poll numbers.
"Jim Graves can buy a lot of polls from Democrat pollsters," Kroll said. "What he can't buy is votes. Minnesotans know Congresswoman Bachmann's record as a strong independent voice fighting against wasteful spending in Washington. When people learn about Graves, they'll see that he is just another big-spending liberal that we simply can't afford."
Nevertheless, the survey does show that Graves is catching up with Bachmann. In June, the same firm polled 505 likely voters, and found that Graves had only 43 percent of the vote while Bachmann had 48 percent and 9 percent were undecided.
The latest poll also shows that Graves is doing better among independents. In June, Graves had only 41 percent support among that voting bloc while Bachmann had 45 percent support.
Today, the survey shows Graves leads Bachmann 57 to 37 percent.
Kay Wolsborn, a political science professor with the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Collegeville, said the numbers show that there's more of a contest in the 6th district than there has been in the past.
Wolsborn points to Bachmann's presidential campaign as a potential factor.
"There were lots of other things that happened during that campaign that made [Bachmann] a little bit more vulnerable than she would normally be in District 6," Wolsborn said, though she pointed out that Bachmann is still running strong even by the Graves numbers and her ability to raise campaign cash hasn't seemed to diminish.
Wolsborn also said that the shift among independent voters may be a reflection of the fact that there is no third-party candidate in this year's race. For instance, in 2008 Bob Anderson got 10 percent of the vote.
"They don't have anywhere else to go this time," Wolsborn said. "They can always stay home. But in a presidential election year, they're less likely to stay home and if they see something interesting in terms of a local or statewide race - or district race in this case. They're likely to turn out, especially if it's a contest."
Wolsborn pointed out that it's impossible to say whether independent voters in previous 6th district races would have ultimately supported a Democrat or a Republican absent a third-party candidate.
Bachmann's vulnerability has become part of Graves' pitch for support. For instance, an infographic on his Facebook page touts statistics about Bachmann's recent showing in the 6th district primary and directs users to a page on his website where they can sign up to support the Graves campaign.
Still, the Rothenberg Political Report still lists the 6th as safe for Bachmann.
Bachmann doesn't do anything for the 6th District, as she is too busy running around elsewhere. She is not even campaigning for re-election this year, as she is too busy running around elsewhere.She is too far to the right for the majority of the middleclass in the 6th District!
Graves is a millionaire, part of the 1% that supposedly the Democrats and liberals are against. Yet, Graves is a Democratic candidate running against Bachmann who is not a millionaire, has tried running for President, and back to running in her district.
Bachmann has done a great job getting the finances back in order, creating a more stable state. She has honor, integrity and morals, which is more than I can say for the Democrats who lie, lie and lie again. I dare you to really investigate anything they say against Bachmann. Don't depend on me or anyone else.
We need Bachmann for another term.
I don't care whether Bachmann or Graves is or isn't a millionaire. I care about their charteracter and values. Bachmann is an opportunist who generates lots of publicity with her rhetoric and extreme positions that do nothing for her District except give her headlines and campaign contributions. What good is she if she only gives headline grabbing speeches saying extremem and untrue facts, runs for POTUS, and stays outside her District but doesn't pass any bills that become law? She can fast against ObamaCare, stare in the camera and tell us vaccinations cause mental retardations but what is she doing about it? Has she authored passed one health care reform bill? No, she''d rather generate headlines by speaking to tea partiers. She isn't in a Republican leadership position, didn't speak before the convention, withdrew from the Presidental race shortly the Iowa primary. That speaks volumes about her.
Please show Ms. Bachman the door. She is one of those who have degraded the Republican Party.
Michelle Bachmann is an embarassment to Minnesotans. I have not lived in Minnesota for 50 years, but still remember when there were politicians of whom the state could be proud - Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Orville Freeman, Art Naftalin. They all put the country first and their ambitions second, unlike this publicity craving rabble rouser. What has she truly done for Minnesota except to make the voters there the laughinstock of the nation? Hopefully, we will soon read that she has been ousted and can go back to wherever it was that she sprouted form.
"What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty," the potential GOP presidential candidate said. "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history."
Bachmann-"What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty," the potential GOP presidential candidate said. "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history."
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liberal bias poll