Illustration by Scott Anderson
It might. Since there is no third party candidate to split the vote this time around, kooky Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, one of the best conservative fundraisers in the Republican party is starting to look extremely vulnerable in her district for the first time since her 2006 election to the House. Although Bachmann is still in the lead, her margin over Democrat challenger Jim Graves has completely collapsed in two months. Via Salon:
Despite her national fan base and a massive war chest, Rep. Michele Bachmann may be in more danger than most suspect, with a new poll showing her lead diminished to just 2 points. Independent voters have swung against her by nearly 20 points in just two months, from a 4 percent advantage to a 15 point disadvantage. The internal poll, conducted by Democratic pollsters Greenberg Quinlan Rosner at the behest of Democrat Jim Graves’ campaign and shared with Salon, shows that Bachmann’s favorability rating has tumbled since their last survey in mid-June, and finds Graves gaining ground with independents as his name recognition grows.
Overall, the poll shows Bachmann leading Graves 48-46 percent, within the margin of error. The race has moved significantly among independents, with a 20-point net shift toward Graves, from a 41-45 percent disadvantage in June to a 52-37 percent lead now. Among independents, Bachmann’s favorability rating has slipped 4 points while her unfavorability rating has jumped 7 points. Overall, she’s viewed mostly negatively. Among all voters, 40 percent give her a positive job rating, while a sizable 57 percent give her a negative one, with a plurality of 35 percent giving the most negative answer possible — “poor.”
Graves’ campaign manager (and son) Adam Graves told Salon that the numbers show his candidate is well positioned to beat Bachmann. “Obviously, we’re very excited about it. The first thing that’s notable is that obviously her recent comments, the stories that she’s created for herself, have really hurt her among folks in the middle,” he said. Bachmann, who had tried to keep a lower profile after aborting her presidential bid, grabbed headlines this summer for her implication that Muslims in the U.S. government may be secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.
As Salon points out, there has been no other public survey of the district’s voters, although one might expect that the Bachmann campaign has commissioned its own polls. That none have been released might be an indication that they aren’t exactly what the zany Republican congresswoman wanted to hear. Bachmann, the former GOP presidential candidate who claimed that God “told” her to run before dropping out of the race, performed poorly in the Republican primary last month.