Rick Nolan at the DFL convention | Photo by A. Klemz
by Tony Petrangelo
Oct 12, 2012, 8:32 PM

The Weekly Wrap 10-12

The wrap this week focuses heavily on happenings in Minnesota’s Eighth congressional district. That is the first bullet point, but there are many others in this weeks The Weekly Wrap™.

♣ There has been a lot of activity in Minnesota’s eighth congressional district on the polling front, with three polls being released this week only one of which I’ve actually covered.

The one I did cover was the SurveyUSA poll that showed former Representative Rick Nolan up by one point over Representative Chip Cravaack 46-45.

Before that was a poll released by the DCCC.

Global Strategy Group (10/8, no trend lines):

Chip Cravaack (R-inc) 42
Rick Nolan (D) 42
(MoE: ±4.9%)

You may wonder why the DCCC would release a poll that shows their guy, Rick Nolan, at his lowest amount of support yet, only 42%. That criticism may not be fair though.

While the conventional wisdom about an incumbent polling below 50% may be a bit over blown, the further down you get from 50%, like say 42%, the more this bit of conventional wisdom becomes actual wisdom.

So rather than looking at this poll and thinking, “omg, they’re only tied?” You should be looking at this poll and thinking “omg, Cravaack is only at 42%?”

Then on Wednesday, possibly as a response to that DCCC internal poll showing only a tied race, Rick Nolan’s campaign released their own internal poll, that showed a not tied race.

Victoria Research (10/10, no trend lines):

Chip Cravaack (R-inc) 44
Rick Nolan (D) 48
(MoE: ±4.9%)

We’ve now seen four Democratic internal polls in this race and one public poll and they all show essentially the same thing. Rick Nolan has a slight lead and Chip Cravaack hasn’t yet polled above 45%.

This race has been in the toss-up category in almost all of the national prognosticator’s US House race ratings lists. I submit that it won’t be long before they start to move this race into the lean Democratic column.

The fact that the Cravaack campaign, or any of the various entities backing the Cravaack campaign, has yet to release any polling to counter the barrage of Democratic internals, combined with Norm Coleman’s American Action Network vastly scaling back their ad buys in this race, tells you all you need to know.

If however there is more that you feel like you need to know about this race, here it is, in the form of the most recent quarters fundraising.

Chip Cravaack: $471k raised, $1.1m CoH
Rick Nolan: $485k raised, $461k CoH

Something happened in this most recent quarter that I don’t think anyone thought could happen, Rick “can he raise enough money” Nolan, raised more than Chip “I’m an incumbent who should be able to raise plenty” Cravaack.

This time of year you hear the phrase “that’s Baseball,” quite often (or, I should say, I hear that phrase quite often). But it’s also applicable to politics and it’s also applicable to politics in this specific instance of politics.

♣ Also in the fundraising department:

Michele Bachman: $4.5m raised, $3.5m CoH

My response upon hearing these numbers.

We’ll find out when the report is public how far off I was.

♣ In response to his campaign manager making disparaging remarks about Amy Klobuchar, Kurt Bills has a solution to the problem of the terrible, no good, campaign manager:

After those releases went out late last month, Bills says he approves any releases that are sent out by his campaign before they are sent.

As yes, because that’s what every campaign wants their principal to spend their time doing, grading assignments!

And then, as if there wasn’t enough fail for one week and, like cowbell, they needed more fail, Kurt Bills jumped on the unemployment numbers are faked bandwagon.

What statisticians do is what statisticians do, but I find it very curious that it dropped when it did and it’s a .3 percent drop.

Coming from the supposed economist. And what do economists use to describe the economy? They use statistics of course!

Kurt Bills could be running a worse campaign, but at this point that’s about the best thing that could be said about his campaign.

♣ A MinnPost three person tag team effort takes a look at how the constitutional amendments may, or may not, affect the race for control of the state legislature.

♣ Following in the fine and winning tradition of Mike Parry, Republican Minnesota house candidate Roz Peterson decided that it would be an excellent idea to attack the popular sitting Governor, for what Republicans seemingly always want to attack him for.

And we also need to ensure that Dayton has balance in power, because we all know that he’s mentally unbalanced.

Stay classy Roz!

♣ I’ve said this before, but you know, something about saying things again… endorsements, and I don’t believe I’m alone in this assessment, probably don’t mean a whole lot in the end, as far as actually moving opinion is concerned. But  what they may do is that they may provide you with a sense of the state of play in a race.

Is this a possible case in point?

♣  If you’re a geek like me you’ll appreciate this, the Cook political report has went back and redone their PVI’s with the new districts.

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