CQ: 6th Congressional District is a toss up

class=img_thumbleft> Congressional Quarterly is now saying there's "no clear favorite" in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District race between Republican Michele Bachmann and Democrat Patty Wetterling. Previously the influential inside-the-beltway publication had pegged the district as "leans Republican." The re-assessment was among 18 changes across the country made by CQ, reflecting a more favorable climate for Democratic candidates.

Here's the pertinent section:

Minnesota 6

· New rating: No Clear Favorite

· Old rating: Leans Republican

The political history and demographics of this district, which three-term Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy left open to run for the Senate, do not exactly lend themselves to a Democratic takeover. Voters in the 6th, which bridges suburbs of the Twin Cities with the city of St. Cloud, gave President Bush 57 percent in 2004. Yet Kennedy himself ran 3 percentage points behind Bush in his 2004 race against well-known child safety advocate Patty Wetterling — who is back for another try after flirting with a Senate bid this year. Wetterling has a powerful personal presence that makes her a formidable candidate. So is state Sen. Michele Bachmann, though Democrats think they have an angle in her image as a social conservative activist — which contrasts with Kennedy's more business-oriented image.

(Cribbed from Inside Minnesota Politics)