The National Republican Congressional Committee has polling that gives the GOP reason hope Minnesota's northern Eighth Congressional District could be in play next year.

Here's the key part of the poll, which was released to the Star Tribune:

If the election for Congress were held today, who would you most likely support: Stewart Mills, Republican or Rick Nolan, Democrat?

Mills 36%

Nolan 36%

Not sure 28%

Last year, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan returned the district to Democratic hands, in which it had long been held, ousting one-term Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack. Now, political newcommer Stewart Mills, a Mills Fleet Farm executive, hopes to grab it back for Republicans.

Before Democrats get too worried about the northern Minnesota fight, they'll take notice of the polls partisan breakdown. The sample included 32 percent Republicans, 28 30 percent Democrats and 40 percent independents. The district tends to have a hue a bit more blue. Last year, 54 percent of Eighth District voters voted for Nolan and 51 percent voted for President Obama.

The poll was conducted last week and included 410 respondents. It has a margin of sampling error of 4.84 percent, which means that either Nolan or Mills could actually be leading.

Read the rest of the polling numbers here:

Nrcc 13 07 Mn-8 Results by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger