MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A recently conducted internal tracking poll for Democrats in Minnesota’s new 6th Congressional District shows that GOP incumbent Michele Bachmann could be in trouble.
The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner showed Bachmann, running for a fourth congressional term, had 48 percent of likely voters supporting her versus a 46 percent backing her Democratic challenger, Jim Graves, a hotel executive.
Political analyst Kevin Diaz, writing for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, noted:
This was unexpected. But so was Bachmann’s foray into personal accusations of Muslim Brotherhood influence in the top echelons of the U.S. government, an episode that brought her widespread condemnation from Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress.
Graves campaign manager Adam Graves noted that this was the first poll he is aware of since the national furor over Bachmann’s accusations, which he believes alienated independents and centrists. “The people in the middle are going to decide this election,” he said.
The Congresswoman’s campaign spokesman Chase Kroll said; “Of course, Jim Graves can spend as much money as he wants to get the poll numbers he wants. The one thing that he can’t buy is the support of the people of the Sixth District.”
Kroll told LGBTQ Nation Tuesday that these kind of publicly-released internal polls often show results skewed toward their candidate by several points, largely because the candidates tend to release only more favorable results. Kroll declined to say whether or not the Bachmann campaign has conducted its own polling.
Diaz reported that Bachmann, a longtime Tea Party favorite, has been campaigning hard in her new territory, which is actually more Republican than her old district.
“Bachmann’s run for president last year boosted her fundraising totals, but also opened her to criticism of neglecting her district and her job in Congress. She promoted herself as an Iowan most of last summer, then got drawn out of the Sixth in the statewide redistricting process.,” he wrote.
Over the last two months, support for Bachmann among Independents has dropped 20 percentage points.
According to the pollsters, “Independent voters account for the bulk of the movement in the race, with a 20-point net shift toward Graves, from a 41 – 45 percent disadvantage in June to a 52 – 37 percent lead now.”
Bachmann still has plenty of time to press her cash advantage — at the end of July, Bachmann had more than $2.2 million in the bank, compared to Graves, a novice politician and wealthy hotelier, who had $351,623.
Bachmann has long been an opponent of LGBT rights, most recently publicly supporting a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that is appearing on Minnesota’s November ballot.