Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will be returning to Capitol Hill in the 113th Congress, after eking out re-election by a narrow margin against businessman Jim Graves (D).
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Bachmann led Graves by just 3,230 votes — 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent for Graves. That’s a far less comfortable margin than Bachmann, who abandoned a presidential bid earlier this year, is used to. In 2010, she won by nearly 40,000 votes and got 52.5 percent.
In her presidential bid, Bachmann, who is a tea party hero and a lightning rod for the left, posted a surprising win in the 2011 Ames straw poll. But she dropped out of the presidential race in January, after her campaign cratered and she placed sixth in the Iowa caucuses in the state where she was born.
It appears he presidential aspirations may have hurt her margin in this race, given that she should have posted better results in a district that became more Republican-leaning after redistricting.
Democrats targeted the race late in the cycle, arguing that Bachmann was vulnerable.