It must be Polling Tuesday, as more than a few interesting results have hit the news circuit this morning — and this may be one of the most interesting of all. Democrats have targeted Michele Bachmann in all three of the cycles in which she has run for Congress, and despite the first two being overwhelmingly Democratic elections, they have come up empty in MN-06. The latest Survey USA poll from the district strongly suggests that their luck isn’t changing in this midterm:
In MN-06, High-Profile Michele Bachmann Narrowly Atop DFL Challenger, 4 Months To Election: In an election for United States Representative from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District today, 07/12/10, men and younger voters re-elect incumbent Republican Michele Bachmann to a 3rd term, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Bachmann and DFL State Senator Tarryl Clark are tied among voters age 50+. But when voters of all ages are combined, including the youngest voters, Bachmann leads 48% to 39%. There is a striking 33-point Gender Gap. Bachmann, a woman, leads by 25 points among male likely voters. Clark, a woman, leads by 8 points among female likely voters. Of those who support the Tea Party movement, 86% back Bachmann. Of those who oppose the Tea Party movement, 82% back Clark.
KSTP notes correctly that an incumbent under 50% in a poll is usually a red flag, but not when the main challenger is below 40%, and a three-way race makes that dynamic a little different anyway. They also correctly note that Bachmann hasn’t really begun to campaign, while Clark has TV ads running already:
Jacobs points out the fact Bachmann is short of the 50-percent mark gives Clark some hope, but when Bachmann begins running her TV ads, she’ll make a big effort to define Clark as a tax-raising Democrat.
Clark is a tax-raising Democrat, not exactly what MN-06 usually sends to Congress in any year. Bachmann just completed a big fundraising quarter that gives her a big war chest to fund those ads, which will flood the zone closer to the election.
KSTP also describes this result as putting Clark “within striking distance,” but nine points is a long distance to strike. That might be tough to make up in a race for a Republican challenger to a Democratic incumbent, even this year, but for a Democratic candidate, it’s going to be well-nigh impossible — especially in MN-06. Don’t expect that to discourage the national party from dumping resources into the race like they did in 2008 and 2006, but it will do nothing but keep those resources from helping elsewhere.