Will this be Michele Bachmann’s last term in office?
Lack of turnout wasn’t the issue for Michele Bachmann’s squeaker win. She’s just not what she used to be, or so says the totals from her reelection on Wednesday morning.
Approximately 27,000 voters who pulled the lever for Mitt Romney in Minnesota’s 6th District did not do the same for their three-time congressional incumbent, who barely came out ahead in the closest race of her political career. So, while relying on conservatives to vote straight-ticket would have seemed like a sound strategy for Bachmann’s campaign, that was not the case on election night.
The final count from one of the closest congressional races of 2012 between the Tea Party princess and her Democrat challenger Jim Graves, which almost resulted in a recount on Wednesday, tallied to 179,202 against 174,905. That means Bachmann inched ahead of her opponent by only 1.21%. Which is hardly a win worth bragging about — especially while Romney carried 56% of her district’s vote — but it’s a win nonetheless. And that 2011 presidential bid of hers didn’t help.
“A lot of Republicans are embarrassed of her,” one eyewitness close to the Graves campaign told Death and Taxes. “There were quite a few Republicans that were at the [Graves] election night party as well.”
It’s true that Bachmann had the far-right vote on lockdown in her district while Romney pulled from the middle a bit, but the fact that 6th District conservatives don’t all vote straight-ticket shows some depth within their base, a group perhaps that pays closer attention to local politics than one would think. (There are lots of independent voters in the district, too.) If Bachmann at all wavers from having a “laser-focus” on her district, as the celebrity congresswoman promised in a statement Wednesday, this could be the fourth and final term she holds public office.