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With no Independence Party candidate in the 6th, Bachmann and Graves go head to head

There will be no Independence Party candidate running in the 6th District Congressional race in November, making it a face-off between incumbent GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and DFL-endorsed challenger Jim Graves.

Bachmann still faces an August primary challenge, but she could safely bet her house (which is actually now in the 4th District) on the outcome.

In 2010, when Bachmann beat DFL challenger Tarryl Clark by nearly 13 percentage points, Independence Party challenger Bob Anderson got 5.8 percent of the vote.

But Anderson had 10 percent of the vote when Bachmann beat DFLer El Tinklenberg in 2008 by 3 percentage points.

Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate for governor in 2010, now supports Graves and told the St. Cloud Times that the one-on-one race this year "creates a different dynamic."

"I think that’s going to make a huge difference," Horner said. "It’s the opportunity to compare and contrast two candidates, head to head."

But Kay Wolsborn, a political-science professor at College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, isn't sure whom that will benefit.

Most district voters either support Bachmann or oppose her strongly, Wolsborn said, and the newly redistricted 6th appears to be even redder than before, she said.

"I think (Bachmann) will get the same folks voting for her that voted for her before,” Wolsborn told the paper. "And that will probably be enough."

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