Two new Democratic polls indicate what most political observers have predicted for a while: the race in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District is very close.
A poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows a virtual tie between incumbent Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack and DFL candidate Rick Nolan. The Global Strategy Group survey of 405 likely voters in the district gave Nolan (45 percent) a mathematically insignificant one-point lead over Cravaack (44 percent), but that stretches to six points when positive biographies of both candidates were read to the voters. President Obama and Sen. Amy Klobuchar are also winning the district, according the DCCC.
“Minnesota families are understandably frustrated by Congressman Chip Cravaack’s priorities because they have to pay thousands more for Medicare while millionaires get a tax break and they’re excited by Rick Nolan’s record of leadership and common sense solutions,” DCCC spokeswoman Haley Morris said in a statement.
The Democratic-leaning House Majority PAC also commissioned a survey of the district, showing Nolan at 47 percent and Cravaack at 44 percent. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.
The 8th District is slightly left of center and Cravaack scored an upset victory over 18-term incumbent Democrat Jim Oberstar in 2010, making him one of Democrats’ top targets nationally this fall. Nolan, a former U.S. Representative who served from 1975-81, won a three-way DFL primary on August 14 with 38 percent of the vote. Key political prognosticators rate the race a toss-up, the only one in Minnesota.
It should be noted that the Democratic firms that conducted the polls released only summaries of their results, and didn’t include key components such as the partisan breakdown of their respondents.
“National Democrats released incomplete results of a poll to prop up Congressman Nolan’s struggling campaign,” Cravaack adviser Ben Golnik said in a statement. “Congressman Nolan’s support for higher taxes, more deficit spending, and increased rules and regulations is out of step with the vast majority of voters in the 8th District. In addition, Congressman Nolan is adamantly pro-abortion and supports additional gun control measures. In the coming weeks, Chip Cravaack will continue to highlight the stark contrast on the important issues facing Minnesota and the country.”
The two polls are the first surveys released to the public since the primary.
Devin Henry can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry