Indy could play spoiler again in Bachmann race

Democrats' efforts to defeat Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) could be getting a little more difficult.

Bob Anderson, the Independence Party candidate from 2008 who took 10 percent of the vote, is looking at running for the seat again, according to an entry on his blog. Bachmann was held below 50 percent of the vote last year, and Democrats believe Anderson split up the anti-incumbent vote.

Third-party candidates in Minnesota have a long history of fairing relatively well (see: Ventura, Jesse), so it's feasible Anderson could again take a significant chunk of the vote that would otherwise go to the challenger. Another Independence Party candidate took 8 percent of the vote in the district in 2006, when Bachmann took 50 percent.

Democrats still have to figure out their side of the ledger, where state Sen. Tarryl Clark, physician Maureen Reed and 2008 nominee El Tinklenberg are all running. All are expected to seek the Independence Party's endorsement, which Tinklenberg had in 2008. But even if they got it, they couldn't appear on more than one line, and Anderson could still make the ballot, as he did in 2008.

Reed, it should be noted, was an Independence Party nominee for lieutenant governor in 2006, and her ticket took more than 6 percent of the vote.