Graves concedes, Bachmann wins re-election

In her tightest election yet, Rep. Michele Bachmann will retain her seat after challenger Jim Graves conceded Wednesday morning. Bachmann leads Graves by 4,207 votes with all precincts reporting, just outside the margin of 0.5 percent that would trigger an automatic recount.
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After a narrow victory, Rep. Michelle Bachmann will retain her congressional seat after Democratic challenger Jim Graves conceded Wednesday morning.

FOX 9 says Graves notified Bachmann over the phone:

The Pioneer Press reports Bachmann leads Graves by 4,207 votes with all precincts reporting, just outside the margin of 0.5 percent that would trigger an automatic recount.

The Associated Press called the race early Wednesday for Bachmann:

Graves was considering a recount but changed his tune as the results came in.

After the concession, Graves said in a statement, "I want to congratulate Rep. Bachmann on her victory last night. We wish her and her family the very best."

Bachmann's polarizing nature was evident in the tweets of her fans and detractors, the Pioneer Press noted.

During his campaign, the hotel magnate painted himself as a skilled businessman, a fiscally conservative Democrat and a moderate alternative to Bachmann, whose controversial remarks have drawn national attention.

"She's the most partisan, most polarizing person in Congress, and that's just a fact," Graves said during a KSTP-hosted debate Sunday.

Graves had represented the toughest challenge yet to the three-term incumbent, although he never led in the polls.

Bachmann characterized her opponent as a big spender, and she kept up relentless advertising against him.

The Bachmann-Graves race was the most expensive House race in the nation, according to OpenSecrets.org. Bachmann is among the top fundraisers in Congress.

In three debates in the last week of their campaigns, the two clashed on abortion, federal spending and health care.

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