A number of bloggers I read on a regular basis have been amazed to see 18-term incumbent James Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in for the battle of his life. Not since 1992 has he won with fewer than 60% of the vote. Indeed, that election was the only year his tally was lower than 60%. He first won election in the very Democratic 1974 mid-terms with 62% of the vote.
Two days ago, Jim Geraghty reported, “My old colleague from many years back, Greg Giroux, noticed Oberstar spent $835,000 in the third quarter of 2010, more than 4 times the roughly $200,000 he spent in the same period last cycle.”
Citing polls showing that Obertar’s Republican opponent “Chip Cravaack was giving 18-term Democratic incumbent and porkmeister Jim Oberstar all he can handle in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District”, Minnesota-based blogger Scott Johnson of Powerline has been all over this story, citing in one post a reader who alerted him to to an editorial in the Duluth News Tribune: “Oberstar-Cravaack debate forced into larger venue.”
Taking note of Cravaack’s strong showing against the career politician, Michael Barone cites perhaps the most telling number in this race, the district “voted only 53% for John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.”
Now, you see what I see? Yup, that’s is. While Barack Obama in 2008 ran ahead of John Kerry’s 2004 tally in most districts across the country, support for the Democratic nominee was virtually unchanged in Minnesota 8. People in this district didn’t catch Obama fever. Seems they just voted for him out of party loyalty.
Mark this one in the Republican column. You can make Cravaack’s path to Congress a little easier by supporting his campaign.