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Ear to the Ground

Bachmann Wins in a Squeaker

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Posted on Nov 7, 2012
Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Tea party darling and former presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann squeaked to a fourth term in Minnesota when her victory over Democrat Jim Graves was confirmed Wednesday morning. Bachmann won by just over 4,000 votes, earning 50.6 percent of the vote to Graves’ 49 percent.

“Redistricting was supposed to help Bachmann,” the Detroit Free Press reported, “with a new political map that made the 6th [District] even more conservative. But for the first time since she won her seat in 2006, there was no Independence Party candidate to siphon support from her main rival, and she had her hands full with Graves.”

Bachmann raised $13 million for her campaign. That figure would suggest she didn’t need the support of grass-roots donors, but you might not know that given the strident emails her team sent out right up until election time.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Washington Post Politics:

A July 16 e-mail said she knew “our time was extremely valuable,” so she wanted “$25, $50, $100 or more” to defeat her opponent, wealthy businessman Jim Graves and “fight leftist Democrats like Nancy Pelosi.”

Two days later she e-mailed that she was “very concerned you haven’t responded” to that e-mail.

On Aug. 17 we got an e-mail noting a headline that morning raising a frightening possibility: “Could Bachmann lose?”

“The answer,” she said, “is without your immediate support, yes.” So she wanted another $25, $50, $100 or more.

On Sept. 25, we got a “Confidential Campaign Update,” since she said we were “one of my best supporters.”

Then outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) showed up in Minnesota on Oct. 3, sparking another request for money. The next day, came another e-mail: “As I wrote you yesterday ... .”

The Oct. 24 e-mail asked for a more modest “contribution of $25, $50 or even $100?” Not more than that.

The next day she seemed a bit anxious: “Please — if you can — stop what you are doing right now” and listen to her recorded message.

The day after that she e-mailed that “I sent you the below e-mail yesterday, and I’m concerned that I haven’t heard back from you.”

On Oct. 31, she sent another request. The next day her campaign manager leaned on us. Hey, he said, ”Michele hasn’t heard back from you and she asked me to follow up this morning.”

No more wishy, washy. “Your $50 contribution today is desperately needed,” he wrote. “Click here to make a secure donation right now!”

Blind panic set in on Saturday.

“NO TIME TO EXPLAIN,” she said.

“I JUST GOT WORD BILL CLINTON IS COMING TO MY DISTRICT TOMORROW TO PERSONALLY CAMPAIGN AGAINST ME.

“I need your support right away!! Please go to my website ... and make an immediate donation.”

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