Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFL challenger Jim Graves remained within a razor’s edge of each other early Wednesday morning in their undeclared Sixth District election battle.
Unofficial results reported shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s election website showed with 235 of 380 precincts reporting, Bachmann had received 142,449 votes (49.95 percent) and Graves 141,897 votes (49.76 votes) There were 811 write-in votes reported.
Graves’ win-column totals included Stearns County while the three-term incumbent Bachmann posted a narrow win in Anoka County.
The tight race surprised Chase Kroll, Bachmann’s campaign manager. “I didn’t think it was going to end up this close. I did not think it was going to be this late, but I still think we are going to win,” he said. Kroll remained hopeful unreported results in Sherburne County and Wright County would push Bachmann to an early morning victory.
“We are still looking at the vast majority of Sherburne County,” Kroll said shortly before 1 a.m. “Sherburne County will create a very wide margin for Michele. And we still have half of Wright County to go.” Kroll didn’t think the possibility of a recount was likely. “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said.
Additionally, Kroll said Bachmann would not speak with reporters until the Associated Press officially called the Sixth District race. “We’ve been tracking neck and neck the whole way, and we will open up the margin with Sherburne and Wright counties,” Kroll said early Wednesday.
Adam Graves, Jim Graves’ campaign manager, said he was happy with a tight race continuing into the early hours. “We know there are really strong precincts of ours that have not yet been reported,” he said. “We remain cautiously optimistic. We saw a lot of Romney-Klobuchar-Graves split tickets early. If that pattern holds, we’ll do very well.”