National analyst: Oberstar-Cravaack race now a toss-up

WASHINGTON — Chip Cravaack has pulled into a toss-up race with Rep. Jim Oberstar, according to one major Washington analyst.

The Cook Political Report today became the first major national election handicapper to list the 18-term incumbent as anything but the favorite. It’s big news in part because, as far as I can find, this is the first time any major ratings firm has listed Oberstar as anything but the favorite, ever.

To put this race into a bit more context: Oberstar’s worst showing ever came in 1992, when he got 59 percent of the vote against Republican Phil Herwig. Oberstar’s closest ever race came the next election, in 1994, when Herwig ran again and held him to a margin of 28 points — still a blowout in any vernacular.

It seems clear now that this race will rewrite both those records.

For more on this race, including some structural advantages that will advantage Oberstar, check out our in-depth profile here.

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