POLITICS

Michele Bachmann, Jim Graves Locked In Close Race: Poll

05/20/2013 11:27 am ET | Updated May 20, 2013

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is essentially tied with her likely 2014 Democratic challenger, businessman Jim Graves, according to a new poll released by his campaign Monday.

In the survey conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), Graves, who nearly defeated Bachmann last year, has a slight edge of 47 percent to 45 percent, well within the margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

The survey was an internal poll for the Graves campaign. Historically, internal polls tend to favor the candidate who released them.

Bachmann's congressional district is overwhelmingly Republican. FairVote calculated the district in 2012 as having a 59-41 edge for Republicans. And the PPP poll respondents identified themselves as 39 percent Republicans, 29 percent Democrats and 32 percent independents or other.

The strength of the GOP in Bachmann's district would suggest her reelection should be easy. But she managed only a one-point victory in 2012 -- about 4,200 votes -- despite outspending Graves by a 12-to-1 margin.

Bachmann started running campaign ads this past Thursday, an unusually early start considering the election is almost a year and a half away.

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