House races

Bachmann shifts House districts with new Minnesota congressional map

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will switch congressional districts after Minnesota’s new map placed her in the same district as Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum.

The move was expected as Bachmann’s district shrank due to the population shift, taking her home out of the sixth congressional district and putting it in the fourth district.

{mosads}The former presidential candidate told The Hill that she’ll run in her old district, which encompasses most of Bachmann’s current territory. State law does not require a lawmaker to live in the district they represent.

“I intend to run in the 6th district,” she said. “It’s essentially unchanged … I grew up in this district, went to junior high here, high school, college. Our children were born here, our business is here, our church is here.”

Bachmann said she had yet to decide whether to move into the new district or keep her current home.

“The map just came out moments ago, that’s yet to be determined what we will do,” she said.

The former presidential candidate also declined to say whether she’ll run for the Senate in 2014, as some have speculated. “I’m focused on the House of Representatives,” she said. “I’m focused on running for my seat in this upcoming election.”

The sixth district also shifted slightly in Bachmann’s favor: going from a district that gave President Obama 45 percent of its vote in 2008 to one that would have given him 43 percent, according to the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman.

Minnesota released its new map on Tuesday. The state almost lost a House seat in the redistricting process but managed to hang on to all of them, which led to minor changes in the map.

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), who held on in the Democratic wave years of 2008 and 2006 with more than 56 percent of the vote, saw his district become a bit more Democratic.

The old district gave Obama 48 percent of the vote, while the new one is about two percentage points more Democratic. If Democrats can field a strong candidate there they could have a shot at the seat.

Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) saw almost no change in his district but will likely remain a top Democratic target for 2012. Cravaack surprised many with a one-point win in 2010 and his district still gave Obama 53 percent of the vote. Republicans had hoped the two northern Minnesota districts would be altered to run east-west instead of north-south, which would have given him a safer district. But Gov. Mark Dayton (D) opposed that plan.

Similarly, Rep. Collin Peterson’s (D-Minn.) district changed very little, remaining a 47 percent Obama district. He has run well ahead of his party and is unlikely to face a tough challenge there, but if he ever retires the seat could be a GOP target.

Rep. Erik Paulsen’s (R-Minn.) district also becomes a bit friendlier to him, going from a 52 percent Obama district to a 51 percent district.

The current delegation is split evenly: Four Democrats and four Republicans. Under the new map, which follows similar lines to the ones that have existed for decades, the delegation will likely remain split or give Democrats a 5-3 advantage.

—This article was updated at 3:18 p.m.

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