DFLer Jim Graves’ campaign has released an internal poll depicting its race with GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann as a statistical toss-up.
The poll pegs support for the three-term incumbent Bachmann, R-Stillwater, at 48 percent compared to 46 percent for Graves, a first-time candidate and hotelier from St. Cloud. Those figures include leaners, without which the spread changes to 47 percent for Bachmann, 42 percent for Graves.
The poll of Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District race, conducted by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, has a relatively small sample size of 401 likely voters. That gives it a margin of error of about 5 percent, according to Graves campaign spokesman Adam Graves.
A June survey conducted by the same firm also found a tight race, with Bachmann leading by about 5 percentage points.
Adam Graves said the new poll shows his campaign has made significant gains among independent voters since the June survey.
“Voters in the middle are shifting in our direction,” Adam Graves said. “The race is tightening, as we expected it would, as people get to know Jim.”
Internal polls often are viewed with skepticism because they’re commissioned by a campaign. But the partisan affiliations of voters surveyed in this poll aren’t particularly askew for the GOP-leaning 6th District: 47 percent identify as Republicans, 39 percent as Democrats and 11 percent as independents.
View the poll’s main findings at this link provided by the website Salon.com, which was first to report the new poll.
The Bachmann campaign didn’t respond to requests from Political Quarry to release its internal polling.
Bachmann campaign spokesman Chase Kroll wrote in an email statement that Graves can buy polls but not votes. Kroll also rejected the suggestion that voters are warming to Graves.
“When people learn about Graves, they’ll see that he is just another big-spending liberal that we simply can’t afford,” Kroll wrote.