A pair of polls commissioned by Democratic-aligned organizations shows DFL nominee Rick Nolan leading Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack in Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District race.
A poll conducted for the House Majority political action committee, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Friends of Democracy found Nolan has a three-point advantage, 47 to 44, over Cravaack among likely voters. That poll shows that Cravaack enjoys high-name recognition, 86 percent, but still trails Nolan, who won a three-way race in the Democratic primary this month.
A poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee concluded that Nolan has a one-point lead over Cravaack. The poll, conducted by Reston, Va.-based Global Strategy Group, also found that Nolan's lead expands to 6 points when voters are read "positive profiles" of both candidates.
In both polls, Nolan's slight lead is within a 4.9 percent margin of error, but is a strong indicator that the race is competitive.
Cravaack's campaign dismissed the poll results as unreliable.
"National Democrats released incomplete results of a poll to prop up former Congressman Nolan's struggling campaign," said Cravaack campaign spokesman Michael Bars in a statement. "In the coming weeks, Chip Cravaack will continue to highlight the stark contrast on the important issues facing Minnesota and the country."
The SEIU and House Majority PAC, which was created to help elect Democrats to the U.S. House, are targeting Cravaack's seat as part of a $20 million ad buy in 38 states. The organizations have reserved $900,000 in television ad time for competitive congressional races in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, which includes more than 30 counties in Minnesota and portions of Wisconsin. Much of the money will target voters in the Eighth District, which covers most of northeastern Minnesota.
"Minnesota families are understandably frustrated by Congressman's Chip Cravaack's priorities ... and they're excited by Rick Nolan's record of leadership and common sense solutions," said spokeswoman Haley Morris of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.