Bachmann launching early TV ads in Minnesota

Bachmann has reserved approximately $85,000 in TV time across a number of Minneapolis stations. That's not a huge buy, especially considering her past fundraising prowess, but it's exceedingly rare to see House candidates go on air during non-election years. Bachmann's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment.

The controversial congresswoman could face a tough race in 2014. She's facing the same Democrat who came within 2 percentage points of beating her last election, and national Democratic groups that ignored the race last election are signaling they'll spend there this time, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Majority PAC. The liberal CREDO super-PAC is already targeting her again after coming in late to help Graves last time around.

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She's also facing ongoing ethics questions relating to her 2012 presidential run, including a probable formal investigation of former staff in Iowa. That ongoing saga has been generating some unhelpful headlines for her back in Minnesota.

But she'll be tough to beat: Bachmann is one of the strongest fundraisers in the country, and the exurban district she represents went for Mitt Romney by a 15-point margin in 2012.

Bachmann has mostly kept her head down since her narrow reelection. But in recent weeks she's helped relaunch the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, sponsored a bill to repeal ObamaCare, and made the TV rounds to attack Obama as a "liar" about the ongoing scandals the administration faces. On Thursday she'll lead a conference at the Capitol to attack Obama over the ongoing Internal Revenue Service scandal.