Michele Bachmann "likely to win re-election this year," according to new independent polling

If Jim Graves can't beat Bachmann, who can?
If Jim Graves can't beat Bachmann, who can?

A Jim Graves poll released last month portrayed his race against Michele Bachmann as a within-the-margin-of-error tossup. But new independent polling suggests the race isn't as close as it seemed in September.

-- Jim Graves to Bradlee Dean: "Michele Bachmann is a wonderful person"
-- Unfactcheckable Michele Bachmann touts KSTP's fact-check of misleading Jim Graves ad [VIDEO]

It also reveals that the 6th Congressional District is a lot more conservative than folks living in the Twin Cities may want to believe.

Last week, Survey USA called 700 registered voters in the 6th, some on land lines and some on cell phones. The margin of error for the poll is 4.1 percent.

Here are some of the highlights:

If the election for U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota's 6th Congressional District were today, would you vote for... (candidate names rotated) Republican Michele Bachmann? Or DFL Candidate Jim Graves?

50% Michele Bachmann (R)
41% Jim Graves (DFL)
9% Undecided

Is your opinion of Michele Bachmann ... favorable? Unfavorable? Neutral? Or, do you have no opinion one way or the other?

40% Favorable
40% Unfavorable
15% Neutral
5% No Opinion

Who do you agree with more on social issues?

46% Michele Bachmann (R)
39% Jim Graves (DFL)
15% Not Sure

If the election for President were today, would you vote for ... (choices rotated) Republican Mitt Romney? Democrat Barack Obama? Or one of the other candidates?

53% Mitt Romney (R)
36% Barack Obama (D)
5% Other
5% Undecided

LeftMN's Tony Petangelo acknowledges the new polling is bad news for the Graves campaign, and notes that Bachmann's recent wave of TV attack ads could be eroding Graves' popularity in the 6th.

Regardless of their differences one thing [all] three polls agree on is that Michele Bachmann is really close to 50%+1. There have been three polls released of this race [two internal Graves polls, and the new SurveyUSA one] and Michele Bachmann has been at 48%, 48% and now 50%. Even in the one that had Jim Graves down by only two, Michele Bachmann was at 48%...

If you're wondering, SurveyUSA's polls of Minnesota congressional districts have been very accurate in the past. In 2010 they polled both Minnesota's first and eighth congressional districts right before the election. The first district poll showed Tim Walz winning 50-41, he actually won 49-44. The eighth district poll showed Jim Oberstar winning 47-46, he of course lost to Chip Cravaack 48-47...

This means that Michele Bachmann, barring some unforeseen development, is likely going to win re-election this year.

It's up to you, 6th District voters. Most of us down here in the cities think the world would be a better place without Michele in power, but at the same time, watching her uniquely entertaining brand of crazy ride off into the sunset would be bittersweet for those of us who enjoy the spectacle.

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