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Home / News / Hot Air? Internal poll purportedly puts Cravaack in dead heat with Oberstar
Few people give Chip Cravaack much of a chance to take out 18-term DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar. The closest any challenger has come to threatening the Eighth Congressional District incumbent was in 1992 -- when Phil Herwig lost by a mere 29 percentage points.

Hot Air? Internal poll purportedly puts Cravaack in dead heat with Oberstar

Chip Cravaack

Chip Cravaack

Few people give Chip Cravaack much of a chance to take out 18-term DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar. The closest any challenger has come to threatening the Eighth Congressional District incumbent was in 1992 — when Phil Herwig lost by a mere 29 percentage points.

The contest doesn’t make any of the lists of competitive House races across the country. Cravaack had barely $40,000 in the bank at the end of June. And not even the National Republican Congressional Committee has the contest on its radar screen for races to watch.

So it’s rather startling to see that Cravaack — according to an internal campaign poll leaked to the conservative web site Hot Air — is in a dead heat with the incumbent. Oberstar outpolled the challenger by a statistically insignificant 45-42 percent margin, according to the survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies.

Blake Chaffee, the Oberstar campaign’s political director, says there’s a simple explanation for the surprising result: it was a push poll.  He says that respondents were fed inflammatory information about the incumbent (e.g. he supports taxpayer funded abortions) and then were asked which candidate they support in the contest.

“It wasn’t about getting their opinion,” says Chaffee. “It was about shaping their opinion.”


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