A Minnesota congressional poll released Friday shows trouble for Democrats in what was assumed to be a safe seat in northeastern Minnesota.
A new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll shows a close contest in the race for the Eighth Congressional District, with 18-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar leading Republican challenger Chip Cravaack only 47 to 46. Constitution Party candidate George Burton won 3 percent of the vote.
Oberstar has not received less than 59 percent of the vote since he was first elected in 1974.
While both candidates get strong support from their respective parties (Cravaack gets 87 percent of Republicans, while Oberstar gets 84 percent of Democrats), Cravaack has a 24-point lead among independent voters.
According to the poll, Oberstar is leading among women and voters 50 and over, while Cravaack is leading among younger voters and men.
The district has become a major battleground since an internal Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted in September showed Cravaack trailing Oberstar by only three points. Since then, Oberstar lost the endorsement of the Duluth News Tribune, the largest newspaper in his district, ran his first-ever attack ad and found himself red-faced at a debate.