In bid to unseat Bachmann, Graves goes where others failed

Hotelier Jim Graves is appealing to moderate voters and selling himself as a skilled businessman in his effort to win the 6th District seat of Tea Party-backed GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. It's an uphill battle. She's raised more money and holds a lead in polls – although DFLers say Graves has begun to narrow the gap.
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With seven weeks before the election, how is that 6th District congressional race shaping up?

DFL congressional candidate Jim Graves, who has always been the underdog in his bid to unseat incumbent Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has been the subject of several profiles in the last few days. Three other DFL candidates have been unable to beat her.

It's an uphill battle for him. Fresh off a presidential bid, Bachmann continues to draw national attention for controversial remarks. She's also out-fundraising him and she continues to hold a lead in the polls.

DFLers hopefully point to a recent poll that shows Graves gaining ground. (WCCO has a story on how much credibility can be put in internal polls.)

Graves is appealing to centrist voters and selling himself as a skilled businessman, MPR notes in a profile on Monday.

DFL officials say he is winning over moderates. "I asked myself, 'Is Bachmann speaking for me?' No, she is clearly not speaking for me," Jennifer Booth of Oak Grove, said in a recent Pioneer Press story about the race. She said Bachmann's rhetoric prompted her to learn more about Graves.

The 58-year-old is trying to keep attacks on Bachmann light, focusing instead on his business experience, the newspaper reports.

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Bachmann, Graves to hold three debates

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Poll shows Bachmann leading Graves; Dems consider race winnable

A new poll finds Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann with a lead of nine percentage points over her Democratic challenger, Jim Graves. It was released just after a national Democratic committee listed the contest as one of the party's best chances to capture a House seat now held by the GOP. Meanwhile, Bachmann maintains a big fund-raising advantage over her rival.

Graves raises fraction of Bachmann's 3Q haul

Wealthy hotelier Jim Graves raised about $669,000 from donors in the all-important third quarter between late July and Sept. 30, MPR reports. Even with the $270,000 in additional cash of his own that he donated to the effort, his total paled in comparison to $4.5 million raised by his opponent Rep. Michele Bachmann. She is consistently among the most prolific fundraisers in the U.S. House.