John Avlon takes a look at the battle between Michele Bachmann and Jim Graves for her seat in Congress, which looks like a close race despite a massive money advantage for Bachmann (she absurdly claims that she is being outspent when, in reality, she’s spending about 10 times what Graves is and has raised more money than all but two Senate candidates).
Polls show the race is now neck and neck—with 48 percent for Bachmann and 46 percent for Graves and the remaining still undecided, according to a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll (outside polling also shows Graves close behind, within single digits). Crucially, independent voters now lean toward Graves by a 15-point margin. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is backing Graves in his campaign, showing it is very much in play.
But this is the most conservative district in Minnesota, compounded by redistricting. Moreover, Bachmann has been a successful conspiracy entrepreneur—raising millions of dollars in campaign donation by throwing out extreme statements—such as questioning how many fellow congressmen have “anti-American” views (to use one mild example)—and then fundraising off it by playing the victim.
“She makes these inflammatory comments for fundraising purposes,” Graves recognizes. “As soon as she says something outrageous, the money spigot opens up. I was just told she’s raised more than $20 million this race”—in fact that number includes the money she took in during her presidential primary run—”that’s unbelievable in a rural moderate Minnesota district. We’re more in the $2 million range—so she’s got a 10 to 1 advantage.”
I don’t think he’s gonna win here, but he’s keeping it interesting. If I was a praying man, I’d pray for her to lose. She’s not just stupid and crazy, she’s dangerous.