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Blog Home Page --> House -- Minnesota -- 01

Walz Leads Big

Freshman Democratic Rep. Tim Walz was not supposed to be in Congress. The former teacher was one of Democrats' big surprises in 2006, ousting Republican Rep. Gil Gutknecht by six points in a district that encompasses the southern border of Minnesota. Now, though, Walz looks like a safe bet for an easy re-election, according to a new poll conducted for his campaign.

The poll, taken 5/17-19 by the Democratic firm Benenson Strategy Group, surveyed 502 likely voters for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Walz was tested alongside the two possible Republican nominees, Mayo Clinic physician Brian Davis and State Senator Dick Day.

General Election Matchup
Walz........57
Day..........22

Walz........60
Davis.......20

Making matters worse for the GOP, the two candidates seem headed for a primary clash that will further deplete their meager bank accounts. Davis, the lesser known of the two Republican candidates, won the district convention, earning the party's endorsement, but Day immediately decided to jump into a primary.

Walz had already raised $1.6 million through the end of the First Quarter, $300,000 more than he raised during the 2006 election cycle. Day and Davis had each raised around $225,000 through the period, and both retained less than $75,000 in the bank, compared with over $1 million for Walz.

Though he's on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline program for vulnerable incumbents, Walz looks to have an easier chance at a second term than other potentially vulnerable Democrats. In fact, several freshmen Frontline members seem to have little competition thus far, including Ohio Rep. Zack Space, North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes and Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth, among others.