Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann may not run away with her congressional election after all.
A new internal poll released by Democratic challenger Jim Graves reveals Bachmann's barely holding on in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. According to the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll, Bachmann leads her opponent 48 to 46 percent, within the margin of error, a lead that has narrowed when compared to three months ago.
Graves has also picked up a lead among independent voters in the district.
"I don't want to say it was a surprise, but we are happy to see where things are headed," says campaign manager Adam Graves. "When people hear his background they feel more comfortable in letting him get the economy back off the ground in the sixth."
The poll reveals some bad news for Bachmann: Only 40 percent of voters say is doing a good job. More than 65 percent of independent voters rate her performance as poor.
Adam Graves says many independents he talks to are turned off by Bachmann's fringe politics.
Bachmann attracted a lot of criticism this summer when she requested the Department of Defense and the State Department investigate whether the Muslim Brotherhood was infiltrating the federal government.
"There might be a very small minority of folks who her conservative principals appeal to," Graves says. "But her hateful, political theater really turns off moderate Republicans and fiscal conservatives."
Roughly 400 voters were polled in the Republican district, which has become even more of a conservative stronghold this year after redistricting. [See How a Do-Nothing Congress is Stalling the Economy.]
While the poll is good news for the Graves campaign, the Democratic candidate is still struggling with name recognition and financial barriers. Graves, who is a local small business owner, has only a 38 percent name recognition according to the poll.
Graves also considerably lags behind in fundraising. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Graves has $351,623 on hand, compared to Bachmann's $2.2 million war chest.