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Election Profile: Minnesota's 6th Congressional District

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Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of Upper Midwestern congressional races leading up to the November 2nd elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The twentieth profile in the series is Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.

Candidates:Republican: Michele Bachmann (2-term incumbent)
DFL: Tarryl Clark
Independence: Bob Anderson
Independent: Aubrey Immelman

District Geography:
Minnesota's 6th Congressional District comprises the state's central counties of Benton, Sherburne, Wright, the eastern half of Stearns County, and most of Anoka and Washington counties.

History:
Michele Bachmann, a former 2-term State Senator and federal tax litigation attorney, entered Congress after defeating DFL nominee Patty Wetterling by 8.0 points in 2006. The race was the second most competitive U.S. House race in the Gopher State that cycle.

Bachmann held the open seat for the GOP left by 3-term Republican Mark Kennedy, who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006. Kennedy had unseated 4-term DFL incumbent David Minge in the 2nd Congressional District in 2000. The race was extremely competitive, decided by 155 votes (0.1 points). After redistricting, Kennedy ran in 2002 in the new 6th District that had a bigger Republican base, and beat DFL nominee Janet Robert by 22.2 points. In 2004, Kennedy beat Wetterling by 8.1 points - the most competitive US House race in Minnesota that year.

In 2008, Bachmann won a high-profile contest aginst DFLer Elwin Tinklenberg. The Congresswoman's 3.0-point win was the narrowest margin of victory among all victorious GOP incumbents in the nation, and the fifth smallest among all Republican winners that November.

Bachmann serves on the House Financial Services Committee, and, over the last two years, has raised her national profile to new heights with frequent media appearances and the founding of the Tea Party Caucus - shattering state and national fundraising records all the while.

In 2010, Bachmann faces DFL State Senator Tarryl Clark, who has set fundraising records for a Minnesota challenger in her own right. All told, the fight for Bachmann's seat has seen $16.2 million in campaign contributions across all candidates - the most of any U.S. House race in the nation by more than $6 million.

Also on the ballot are two candidates who also vied for the seat in 2008. Bob Anderson is running on the Independence Party ticket, only this time with the party's endorsement (in 2008 the IP cross-endorsed Tinklenberg). Anderson notched 10.0 percent of the vote the last time around.

Aubrey Immelman is running as an independent. Immelman, a psychology professor at St. John's University, launched a write-in campaign in 2008 after Bachmann's infamous exchange with Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball on October 17th. Immleman ran against Bachmann in the GOP primary that year, winning 14.1 percent of the vote.

Outlook:
Despite evoking 'strong emotions' from her opposition and representing the 11th most competitive district in the nation over the last four election cycles, all factors are in Michele Bachmann's favor to win reelection in 2010 (in addition to the general momentum towards Republicans this cycle and the millions more dollars Bachmann has raised over Clark).

Minnesota's 6th CD is the most Repubican district in the Gopher State with a +7 GOP Partisan Voting Index score. John McCain won the district by 9 points in 2008 and George W. Bush won it by 14 points in 2004.

Additionally, two-term incumbents have won 88 percent of their reelection bids in Minnesota history (75 of 85 races), with six of these 10 incumbents defeated after redistricting (election years ending in '2').

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Previous post: Election Profile: Minnesota's 5th Congressional District
Next post: Election Profile: Minnesota's 7th Congressional District

1 Comment


  • From the profile: "Aubrey Immelman is running as an independent. Immelman, a psychology professor at St. John's University, launched a write-in campaign in 2008 after Bachmann's infamous exchange with Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball on October 17th. Immleman ran against Bachmann in the GOP primary that year, winning 14.1 percent of the vote."

    Although working full-time as a psychology professor, my relevant work experience is my military background as an army paratrooper and my service as a national security consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense (involving threat assessment and nuclear deterrence); Customs and Border protection (terrorist profiling); and NATO (training intelligence officers).

    The rationale for my write-in campaign against Bachmann in 2008 after losing the Republican primary:

    http://www.immelman.us/news/write-in-candidacy-announcement/

    The rationale for campaigning against Bachmann as an unaffiliated independent in 2010:

    http://www.immelman.us/news/immelman-vs-bachmann-round-2/

    My non-neocon, non-extremist conservative platform:

    http://www.immelman.us/issues/

    My macropolitical analysis of 6th Congressional District demographics and political dynamics:

    http://www.immelman.us/news/can-a-democrat-beat-bachmann/

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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