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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Minnesota -- 06

MN-6 Poll: Bachmann Lookin' Good

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has been a national lightning rod since entering Congress in January 2007 and one in Minnesota long before that. But the second-term congresswoman from Stillwater still has support in her 6th District and they don't mind her focus on being a national conservative leader, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling.

The survey finds 53 percent approving of Bachmann's job performance, including 51 percent of independents. Just more than a third of voters said they find Bachmann's political views to be extremist and about the same amount say she is too conservative. Compare that to the 54 percent who say her views are not extremist and 56 percent who think she's not too conservative -- she's about right -- and it's clear why she holds healthy leads over two potential Democratic opponents.

Bachmann leads state Sen. Tarryl Clark by a 55%-37% margin, and holds a 53%-37% lead over Maureen Reed, a doctor and 2006 Independence Party nominee for lietenant governor.

Asked about how Bachmann spends her time in Washington, 32 percent said she focuses more on advocating for the 6th District and 48 percent said her focus is on being "a leader in the National Conservative Movement."

While Bachmann enjoys majority support, Democrats and Republicans in Congress do not -- 55 percent disapprove of the job Republicans are doing and 62% disapprove of Democrats.

The survey was taken Dec. 17-20 of 719 registered voters in the district, with a margin of error of +/- 3.7%.

MN 06: Tink +2

Controversial comments have put Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in electoral hot water, a new survey shows, as more than two in three voters in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District say they disagree with her remarks.

The poll, conducted for the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute and Minnesota Public Radio by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut, surveyed 430 registered voters 10/21-23 for a margin of error of +/- 4.7%. Bachmann, Democratic ex-state Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson were tested. (Party ID breakdown: 42% Dem, 44% GOP, 14% Ind/Other)

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind)
Tinklenberg......45 / 90 / 10 / 23
Bachmann.........43 / 3 / 79 / 51
Anderson......... 5 / 3 / 6 / 5

McCain...........47
Obama............44

Almost 80% of respondents said they had heard Bachmann's comments, and more than a third of respondents said the remarks made them less likely to vote for the freshman Republican (8% said they were more likely to cast a ballot for Bachmann after hearing her statements). In the last two weeks of the campaign, that's made independents break heavily for Tinklenberg; those deciding on a candidate within the last week have chosen the Democrat by a 37-point margin.

Few races have changed faster than the Bachmann-Tinklenberg battle. Bachmann's non-apology ad is on the air, while Tinklenberg raised over $1.3 million in a week since the comments. Meanwhile, national Democrats launched a $482,000 ad buy while Republicans pulled funding from the district.

New Challenger In MN 06

Politico's Josh Kraushaar reports that former Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg will make a second bid for Congress against freshman Rep. Michele Bachmann. Tinklenberg ran in 2006, and many at the DCCC preferred him to 2004 nominee and child safety advocate Patty Wetterling.

Still, Wetterling won the primary, then lost to Bachmann in the general by eight points. Bachmann, who took over for Rep. Mark Kennedy when he ran for Senate, represents a relatively conservative district north of the Twin Cities. Senator Norm Coleman won the district in 2002, while Gov. Tim Pawlenty and President Bush won it twice, Bush by 52% in 2000 and 57% in 2004.

Wetterling's loss in 2006 was by a wider margin than expected, and with the more moderate Tinklenberg in the race, Democrats may decide to take a shot at the seat.