The presidential campaigns might have largely bypassed Minnesota but the big spending fight of outside interests for the 8th Congressional District makes up for some of that. The latest estimates from the Duluth News Tribune put the total tab at more than $10 million, with some $3 million of that in outside money spent in the past two weeks alone.
Polls indicate the race, between incumbent Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan, is in a dead heat. Only races in Pennsylvania and Ohio have garnered more in outside spending than the 8th District race.
Even so, the race isn’t the state’s most expensive. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign has spent $21 million in an attempt to hold her 6th District congressional seat against Democrat Jim Graves, who has spent about $1.5 million. But outside groups haven’t given much attention to that race, spending only $122,113, the paper reported.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who’s undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, voted by absentee ballot, his publicist Kevin Lampe said.
The Chicago Democrat, who was first elected in 1995, is expected to easily win re-election, despite his lack of a campaign. He’s been on medical leave since June. He faces two little-known challengers on the Nov. 6 ballot, including a Republican college professor and a postal worker running as an independent. The Associated Press has the story.