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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

    Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

    Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

    Political Crumbs

    Haugh to Reach New Heights

    The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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