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Early poll shows close race between Bachmann and Graves

WASHINGTON — The poll gives Graves a two-point lead, well within its margin of error.

Rep. Michele Bachmann
REUTERS/Sean GardnerRep. Michele Bachmann

WASHINGTON — The first public poll of the Rep. Michele Bachmann-Jim Graves 6th District rematch shows an essentially tied race between the two.

The poll gives Graves a slight lead, 47 percent to 45 percent, but that’s well within the poll’s 4.4 percent margin of error. About half of the poll’s 500 respondents hold an unfavorable view of Bachmann, according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm that conducted the poll for the Graves campaign.

A two-point lead is statistically insignificant, which makes the poll fairly consistent with the results of last November’s elections, when Bachmann defeated Graves by 1.2 percent. The poll’s partisan breakdown was: 39 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic, 32 percent independent (The 6th District is considered the most Republican-leaning in Minnesota).

In response to the poll, Bachmann spokesman Dan Kotman said: “Democrat Jim Graves can buy all the polls from Democrat firms that he wants, but it won’t change the fact that he is in lockstep with the Obama-Pelosi agenda and out of touch with the 6th District.”

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Bachmann hit the airwaves last week with a TV ad highlighting House passage of her Affordable Care Act repeal bill, amid a growing investigation into potential campaign finance violations by her 2012 presidential campaign. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently added Graves to a program meant to help support its top challengers.

Some caveats: This is an internal poll for the Graves campaign, conducted by a Democratic firm using an automated telephone survey of only 500 voters. All that said, PPP is a very respected pollster (it performed especially well in Minnesota last November).

Here are the poll’s crosstabs.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.