The Daily Rundown | November 02, 2012
>>> something we've seen before. a politician who gains coverage. senator mcgovern lost by a landslide to president nixon and years later mcgovern lost his bid for the presidency. just four years after dropping out of the 2008 presidential rate dennis kucinich lost his seat during the democratic primary after redistricting put him in a member versus member contest. the biggest one i remembered goes back to 1996 when bob doanan ran for president and was the surprise loser on election night in his old orange county district that everybody thought could not be lost. today we're looking at congresswoman michele bachmann . is it her turn? she is facing a tough re-election challenge less than a year after finishing last in the iowa republican caucus . joining me now luke russert . he just returned from minnesota 's sixth district and because we were focused on this because we figured out nobody is spending more money on a re-election to a house race than michele bachmann .
>> it really is amazing. for someone who was the tea party darling, the whole star of the movement, started the tea party caucus a year ago, who is a prolific fundraiser finds herself in the fight of her life. take a look. a year ago michele bachmann was a tea party star running for president of the united states .
>> it is so great to be here in iowa this morning.
>> reporter: now she is in a tight race to keep her house seat. though she represents minnesota 's most republican district one recent poll shows her getting just 50% against wealthy democratic businessman and hotel owner jim graves. he is convinceddential run is helping him.
>> i definitely think people feel left out here. she hasn't been in the district or on the floor in congress. she just hasn't been representing the people. she hasn't been a voice for the people.
>> reporter: a run that didn't sit well with some of her constituents.
>> i think it hurt her because she really wasn't doing anything for the voters in her district .
>> i think that was a waste of time and she wasn't maybe doing her job and i was paying for that? sure. i do.
>> reporter: bachmann admits there's been fallout but remains confident. do you think your presidential run hurt you or helped you in the district ?
>> oh, i think that it -- i think there's both. i think there's a lot of advantages that came from it and i'm now applying that to the run this time and all of the polling numbers look very positive and people appreciate the work that i've done for the district so we're all happy.
>> reporter: bachmann's fame makes her a prolific fundraiser and she is spending millions on hard hitting ads against her opponent.
>> big spending jim graves is no different.
>> reporter: she hopes this will turn out her base.
>> i think she cares about minnesota and what is going on here.
>> reporter: and be enough to overcome what could be a vote for change .
>> she's probably been in, lining up to give somebody else a chance.
>> chuck, i spoke to the graves campaign and they acknowledge they face an uphill battle to unseat michele bachmann . she is getting about 50% in the polls. he is within the margin of error in his own polling. the star trib has a little wider than that. what he needs is folks that vote romney, vote for klobuchar, and vote for jim graves. talking to a lot of republicans in minnesota who tend to be more moderate than the ones we see on the national stage there is this sort of sense of being fed up with michele bachmann . however, there is a strong evangelical pull in that district . gay marriage is on the ballot. that might be enough to push her ahead as well as the redistricting. she'll probably sneak through but, still, a very --
>> we'll see.
>> she spent more i think on that than the presidential race . we'll bring in the rest of our friday super panel. republican strategist and president of new frontier strategy, and of course luke sticking around. up in new york melissa harris perry host of msnbc's " melissa harris-perry." i'm sorry. i thought i'd be in new york today.
>> all of our travel schedules have been messed around a little bit. i want to focus quickly on michele bachmann . i go back with these memories of bob thorn you know when he ran for president. and on election night at the time an unknown hispanic woman by the name of loretta sanchez shocked him. turned out orange county was slipping away. he got punished for not being in the district , too much of a national figure. this happens when you try to be a national star and look like you're not tending to the home front.
>> it does and it could. the district and redistricting got about a plus four republican benefit so a slightly improved district for michele. she has a history as luke said of running tight races. she has a few scares where she won by three or four points. that is probably the likely outcome here. your point is valid.
>> i want to talk to you and i want you to both hit on this point. melissa , i just had sessions, the fact is you talk to the strategists on both sides and one thing everybody is sure of, with the presidency, the battle to control the senate controls the house. republicans are going to get re-elected to control the house. what is the message voters are sending if they re-elect a democratic president and senate and republican house?
>> i think part of it is just as you were leading in with michele bachmann . the fact is voters collectively aren't sending a message by dividing governments this way. it's really sort of the odd thing that happens as a result of the way that we have ballots counted right? it is because of the nature of the electoral college which means we're going to be about at a 50/50 split for the u.s. presidency in terms of the poplar vote but one of the candidates may sort of do much better in the electoral college even though we're about even in terms of the popular vote and each of these battles for the congress are so very localized. as you point out right there in minnesota you might end up with what is a split ticket but not because there's some great partisan emotion about it.
>> but rather just because it is about each candidate.
>> ruth, this is sort of to me what is going to be the challenge for whoever wins the presidency.
>> yes. you'll have the losing side feeling the grief, feeling as if wait a minute we're, you know, just because you don't -- you represent 50.1% doesn't mean you have to -- you can't represent the rest. i think governing will be a huge challenge.
>> governing is going to be a huge challenge even if the senate remains democratic there is still the challenge of the filibuster in the senate. i suspect we'll have a big argument over filibuster reform and governing is going to be an immediate challenge because of the fiscal cliff. and the closeness of the divide either will go to just more and more of this divisiveness or it may finally convince people we need to get along.
>> but the fact is, the fact we're talking about plus five or six in the u.s. house with the huge change in the last month in american politics , we could still have a pathway, i think, viable pathway and i think romney will win next week and i think will bring pragmatic leadership and tone will matter and i suspect he'll work with the republicans or democrats trying to get things done.
>> speaking of the path --