Final 8th District Debate Approaches, Race Close

By KBJR News 1

October 29, 2012 Updated Oct 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM CDT

Iron Range (Northland's NewsCenter) - With just eight days left until election day, candidates in Minnesota's 8th District Congressional race are preparing for their final debate.

Incumbent Congressman Chip Cravaack and Democratic Challenger Rick Nolan will square off Wednesday during a debate on the Iron Range. The debate will be held at 12 p.m. at the Mesabi Range Community and Technical College.

Recent polls have mixed findings about which candidate is leading the race.

"Some are saying that Nolan is ahead, some are saying that it's even," said politcal analyst Wy Spano, "I think it's closer to even and it still could change."

A poll released this weekend by the Huffington Post, conducted by Public Policy Polling says that Rick Nolan is ahead by four percentage points against incumbent Congressman Chip Cravaack. Over 1,000 likely voters in Minnesota's 8th District were polled for these results.
That poll has a 3.1% margin of error.

A different poll, conducted by OnMessage Inc. for Cravaack's campaign, shows the Congressman is leading by ten percentage points. Four hundred likely voters were surveyed for these results. There is a 4.9% margin of error for this poll.

Also split seems to be the ever important support of the steelworkers. Nolan received the official endorsement of United Steel Workers District 11 about a month ago.

"Rick Nolan has stood with unions since way back when," said USW District 11 Rapid Response Coordinator Bob Ryan, "He'll befriend our values and work with us."

On the same day, individual steelworkers announced their support for Cravaack.

"The 'Buy America' steel amendment, cutting the new regulations from the EPA, his regulations directly affect our back pocket," said USW Local 6115 Treasurer Steve Biondich.

Political analyst Wy Spano says that Congressman Cravaack's 2010 victory over longtime congressman James Oberstar might be harder to repeat this time around.

"Democrats always do better in presidential years," he said, "It's going to be very difficult for Congressman Cravaack to repeat that performance."

The Northland's NewsCenter's Barbara Reyelts will moderate the candidate's final debate. You can watch it live at 12 p.m. Wednesday on My 9.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.