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Minnesota - 6th District

Incumbent -- Michele Bachmann (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

Bachmann has become a champion of the tea party, a national figure who is able to raise millions through a nationwide network of donors. Both Democrats and Republicans drop her name to raise money, but it hasn't helped her opponent, state Sen. Tarryl Clark.

Democrats cleared the primary for Clark, but in a year that favors Republicans and with Clark's partisan background in the Senate, she faces a very steep uphill climb.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

One of Minnesota's three largely suburban districts, the 6th hooks counterclockwise from eastern Twin Cities suburbs through conservative areas northwest of Hennepin County to the former granite-quarrying city of St. Cloud, the 6th's only urban center. Overall, the 6th has welcomed more than 140,000 new residents since 2000 and has the largest population of any Minnesota district ahead of decennial remapping.

Home to the second-largest college in Minnesota -- St. Cloud State University -- St. Cloud has a strong college town atmosphere. Development has not yet made the city, in heavily Catholic Stearns County, a Twin Cities suburb. North Star Commuter Rail, a commuter train line linking Sherburne County with the Twin Cities, opened in late 2009 and has helped alleviate traffic problems along Interstate 94, although planned expansion has been delayed.

Anoka and Wright counties, to the north and west of Minneapolis and its first-ring suburbs, had boasted new, wealthy suburban developments to accommodate a growing population. But the effects of a nationwide housing market downturn are evident in Wright, which struggled with sinking property values and high foreclosure rates. Washington County, to the east and north of St. Paul, includes other towns, such as Woodbury (part of which is in the 2nd), that saw explosive population growth and now are vulnerable to economic slowdowns, and the small town of Stillwater on the St. Croix River, which marks the Wisconsin border.

The 6th has developed a strong GOP base -- in 2008, the district gave Republican John McCain his largest victory in the state with 53 percent of its presidential vote. The young, high-income families that fueled the region's growth tend to favor fiscal conservatism, but are not uniformly conservative on social issues. Blue-collar communities in the suburbs of Anoka and Washington counties used to be faithful Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party supporters, but Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer picked up towns here in 2010.

Major Industry

Corporate offices, manufacturing

Cities

St. Cloud, 65,842; Woodbury (pt.), 60,481; Blaine, 57,186

Notable

Writer and radio show host Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka.

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