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Minnesota 8th District - Cravaack vs. Nolan


Chip Cravaack

Chip Cravaack (R)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Rick Nolan

Rick Nolan (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Minnesota Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Toss Up
2012 Key Races:
President | Senate | MN-6

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

Governor | MN-1 | MN-6 | MN-7 | MN-8
2008: President | Senate | MN-3 | MN-6
2006: Senate | Governor | MN-6
2004: President

Polling Data

PollDateSampleCravaack (R)Nolan (D)Spread
Final Results----45.454.3Nolan +8.9
KSTP/SurveyUSA11/1 - 11/3585 LV4547Nolan +2
Star Tribune10/16 - 10/161000 LV4350Nolan +7

Race Analysis

From 1946 through 2010, only two men, both Democrats, represented Duluth and Minnesota's Iron Range in Congress: John Blatnik and Jim Oberstar.  But the district has gradually followed white working-class voters over to the Republican camp, and this is increasingly Republican territory.  In 2010, Oberstar's votes in support of the 111th Congress cost him dearly, and he was dragged under by the Republican tide.

But his replacement, airline pilot Chip Cravaack, has had problems of his own.  His wife's job is in New Hampshire, he's no longer an outsider, and the national environment is more favorable to Democrats.  The good news for Cravaack is that his opponent, Rick Nolan, represented Minnesota in Congress in the 1970s; he isn't a spry representation of "change."  This could go either way.