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2012, Redistricting Make Bachmann Seat Iffy

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Presidential politics and Congressional redistricting have created uncertainty regarding what will happen with Rep. Michele Bachmann’s House seat.

Democratic contenders are equally hesitant. A Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party source told Roll Call that Democrats are holding off on announcing their candidacies until the district lines become clearer.

Bachmann's spokeswoman declined to comment on any sort of outlook beyond the presidential campaign.

Adding to the lack of movement in the race is uncertainty over redistricting. The 6th touches seven of the eight Minnesota districts and will lose population when the lines are redrawn. The Republican Legislature passed a map that sought to maintain the current House delegation makeup of four Democrats and four Republicans, but Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoed it. The two branches have until Feb. 21 to come to an agreement, but if they fail, a five-judge panel will draw the lines.

Republicans and Democrats declined to prognosticate on how the new map might turn out. There are even scenarios under discussion that would see Bachmann seeking re-election in a Member-vs.-Member primary against Reps. Chip Cravaack or John Kline, or in a general election against Rep. Betty McCollum (D).

After the presidential race shakes out, another possibility for Bachmann is a Senate bid.

Last December, women's issues strategist Rebecca Sive wrote in the Huffington Post that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was concerned Bachmann would run against her. In May, Bachmann told Hotline on Call she wasn't interested in running for Senate. Polls taken earlier this year show Bachmann would be a favorite for the GOP nomination, but Klobuchar seems safe for re-election. Roll Call rates the Senate race as Safe Democratic.

The Klobuchar campaign declined to comment.

Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) told reporters recently at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that he did not think Bachmann was using her presidential campaign to position herself for another office.

"She's not somebody who's saying, 'I'm doing this because I ultimately want to run for governor or Senate,'" he said. "I don't know what she wants to do."

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