September 14th, 2010
07:53 AM ET
11 years ago

CNN 100: Tea Party favorite Bachmann eyes November, beyond

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day."]

Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:

Minnesota 6th – Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) is seeking a 3rd term
Primary: August 10, 2010
Location: Northern and eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities
Days until Election Day: 49

In 2008, Rep. Michele Bachmann spent the fall flirting with one-term status. Last year, her fellow congressional Republicans considered her vulnerable enough to include on their list of most threatened House incumbents. And heading into this summer, her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Tarryl Clark, had raised more than $2 million to take her on.

So why does the Bachmann race now seem to be slipping off the radar? A far better national environment for Republicans helps. So does her valuable status as one of the Tea Party's favorite Republicans (she recently founded the congressional Tea Party caucus). But most of all, Bachmann fortune's have risen thanks in part to a fundraising haul that's nearly double her opponent's.

Bachmann may hold no formal leadership role in her party or on congressional committees. But she boasts a national following and grassroots network that far outstrips many of those who do. And her fundraising results this year have been better than many of the GOP's top presidential contenders.

Granted, Bachmann is fighting on favorable terrain. Minnesota's 6th congressional district, which went for John McCain over Barack Obama by 8 points in 2008, is the state's most conservative. It stretches in a suburban C around the Twin Cities, grabbing more rural areas at both ends. George W. Bush carried the district by 10 points during his first presidential bid, and did even better - 57 percent to 42 percent - four years later.

Still, last time around, Bachmann's tough talk made for a tight race in the home stretch; 2008 Democratic challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg jumped on late controversial comments by the incumbent, and reaped the national fundraising rewards. But Bachmann had built up a fundraising firewall that proved difficult to overcome, and despite an unexpectedly strong showing by third-party candidate Bob Anderson, she eked out a win with just 46 percent of the vote.

Clark, the Democratic nominee, was elected to the state senate in 2005, where she soon rose to the position of assistant majority leader. Her main opponent for the nomination, physician Maureen Reed, dropped out of the race in June to focus party efforts on defeated Bachmann, yet Reed remained on the August 10 primary ballot and still received 31 percent of the vote against Clark.

Anderson, the Independence Party nominee who received 10 percent of the vote against Bachmann in 2008, will appear on the ballot again in November.

Democrats have tried to use some of her headline-grabbing statements this term to line their campaign coffers – her suggestion that President Obama wanted to put young people in "re-education camps"; that the administration's economic program was equivalent to (variously) Marxism and slavery; that Americans should avoid filling out their Census forms completely. But as Bachmann's rhetoric has grown hotter, so have her own fundraising results: More than $4 million at the start of the summer, with a reported $2 million plus since.

The two-term congresswoman has increasingly turned her sights national, taking time in the midst of her re-election bid this summer to launch MICHELEPAC, and make appearances at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally and other key conservative gatherings. And she's talked up possible legislative priorities in a GOP-controlled Congress. The race isn't over, but Michele Bachmann's already looking past November.

Filed under: 2010 • CNN 100 • Michele Bachmann • Minnesota
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. stevegee

    Wake up people! Stop Obama, Pelosi and Reid from turning our country into a Socialist nightmare.

    In November, vote a straight Republican ticket.

    September 14, 2010 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Lunatics unite and revote this crazy woman again. What does it take to wake people up?
    murphy in MD. The quitter's endorsement couldn't get his bio in on time to let Marylanders know what he stands for, but then again, we know what teabaggers think (if we want to call it that) so it would not have made a difference.

    September 14, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. garrick sr.

    I've heard commentary about taxes and taxation throughout recent history and it was appalling.Just bein' a dumb guy in Michigan,a federal sales tax sounds like a very good idea and can't be implemented soon enough.I'm sick of the rich getting richer,in dishonest ways.There certainly are plenty of honest ways.Try this on,all get richer.Jesus said the poor will always be with you implicating you won't be one!

    September 14, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  4. g

    go tea party ,no healthcare, no social security, no unemployment insurance, no medicare, no goverment pensions

    September 14, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. A keen observer

    Michelle Bachman is just another crazy the republicans and Teabaggers are so fond of. She has nothing of substance to offer except that she is prettier that Wailin' Palin.

    September 14, 2010 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Everytime Michele Bachmann opens her mouth, I break out my check book and send more money to Tarryl Clark.

    September 14, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. michael tampa

    Its very scary that so many americans are supporting these nut jobs like bachman. Her comments are usually lies and mis truths and she thrives on hate....why do americans like politicans like this? I am at a loss.

    September 14, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. Tim

    Look at all of the chemtrails in this picture! Those are not regular contrails.

    September 14, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  9. Monrob

    Crazy people vote for crazy candidates!

    September 14, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  10. Steve, New York City

    Michelle Bachman – another one from the right-wing loonie bin. She and her type seem to support a narrow platform: Pro-gun extremists, anti-science extremists (global warming doesn't exist, their religious view ALWAYS takes precedence over medical opinions), pro-life extremists (yet they'll staunchly support the death penalty and are EXTREMELY PRO-WAR, but only if the people we are bombing are not white), and on middle east policy, they're uncompromising pro-Likud extremists, as this fits with their "juvenile" evangelical views.

    Wow – a great recipe for the USA to march back into the 18th century. I truly hope that the "rational right wing" fights back hard (for the sake of our country).

    September 14, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  11. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    I do not care about what party you belong to! "We the People” got screwed again this time we need to make all of them pay with their jobs.

    Guess what Congress "You Are Fired!"

    This fall vote "No to incumbents"

    Fire All incumbents!

    Congress allowed the American people to lose their jobs, their life's savings, and their retirement and NOW we are in double dip recession. And then made the American people pay to bailout the ones who were responsible for the crime.
    All while supporting the special interests, lobbyists, Big business and themselves.
    You know what Congress, welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.

    September 14, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  12. ABM

    I welcome the thought of her losing.

    September 14, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Ah yes... a successful conservative woman... just what the libtards LOVE to hate.

    Need proof? These "CNN 100" tickers average less than 20 comments. I'll bet the ranch this one gets over 200.

    Let the hate-fest begin!

    September 14, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  14. sharon

    Evidently the good people of Minnesota have poor taste in elected officials Two of the wack jobe – Michele Bachman and Tim Pawlenty. That poor fellow still thinks the voters outside of Minnesota are'nt toobright. But he and Newt Gingrich do not have a prayer.I have to hope that sooner or later they will wise up and get rid of Michele Bachman. I think she and Sharon Angle went to the same school as they think so much alike.

    September 14, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. Nuts!

    Minn originally voted for her because she was hot. Re-elected her because Minn was afraid of change. But, my Minn brethren, we need to stop the insanity this woman represents before it ruins our State and country!!!

    September 14, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. katiec

    Bachman is another one of those republicans that is a time bomb waiting to explode. She has no ethics, honor and has yet to meet a lie she does not love.
    Although she is in a conservative district, can we not expect some intelligence, concern for our country from the voters?
    This woman is a big part of politicians who give our political system, country a black mark with all the world watching.
    America, we do not need additional irresponsible, misguided radicals in leadership positions. Do the right thing and vote her OUT!

    September 14, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. wwf

    Heaven help Mn and the rest of the nation if she wins.

    September 14, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Dave

    They call her Crazy Shelly for a reason. Ever see that video of her hiding in the bushes to spy on a rally? Look it up.

    September 14, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Em in Minnesota

    I wish I lived in Bachmann's district so I could vote against her. She doesn't seem at all concerned with the truth...just whatever will inflame people and stir up fear, hatred and prejudice. And whatever will get her in the news. She is an embarrassment to Minnesota! And God help us if she is looking even higher. She's smarter than Sarah Palin (who isn't?), but her tactics are exactly the same.

    September 14, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  20. Marge

    Dang de dang if you had been at this years Minnesota State Fair you would have seen that the people in her district have finally come to their senses. They are very very upset that she is running around the country showing her butt and doing an ego trip and has done zilch, nada, nothing absolute zero for her district. In fact til she started trying to get them to vote for her they havent' seen a darn thing of her except from TV shots FROM OTHER STATES WHERE SHE HAS HER HEAD UP PALIN BUTT. Does she think Palin is stupid enough to pick her as a running mate. Bachmann IF SHE WINS this is her last term.

    September 14, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, Please, Minnesota! Is Bachmann the best you can send us? Remember, not only is she representing the views of the district (yeah, right), but she also must use what little judgment she has shown to look at things from a complete national perspective. This woman does not have the intellectual capacity to determine the best way to go downhill on a one-way street with no traffic on it! Although I would bet she sticks to the right-hand lane!

    September 14, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. sonny chapman

    A Term Limiter that took a toke & became intoxicated.

    September 14, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. SayWhat

    If I was in her district I would wonder why she is spending so much time on drawing the public spotlight to herself, and not in a good way. Besides appearing to be one of the lunatic fringe, what has she done as a Member of Congress?

    September 14, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Snow

    Michele Bachmann needs to remain in Congress because she is a fiscal conservative that does not think the government should be spending more money than it has. She is against all the borrowing of money this administration and the liberal demorat congress covets.

    September 14, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |