Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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May 9th, 2009

Summary: Can U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) be defeated in the 2010 U.S. House of Representatives election in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District? Yes, but not by a Democrat in the general election. Rep. Bachmann is most vulnerable in the primary election against a more moderate Republican challenger. The trump card for Bachmann opponents is Minnesota’s open primary system. With no party registration in Minnesota, self-identified Democrats and Independents are able to vote in the Republican primary against Bachmann, joining forces with disaffected Republican voters. The fact that Bachmann did not receive a majority of the votes in either the primary (47.2%) or the general election (46.4%) in 2008 underscores her vulnerability.