Democrats upgrade assessment of Bachmann challenger

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding Minnesota’s 6th District to its Red to Blue program.

That’s a distinction the national Democratic group gives to Republican-held seats it views as highly vulnerable.

First-term U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is facing a challenge in the 6th from former state Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg, who has endorsements from both the DFL and Independence parties.

The DCCC helps selected Democratic candidates by running independent advertisements praising them, or far more often, lambasting their opponents. The DCCC had previously placed the 6th in its Emerging Races category, the tier below Red to Blue.

Tinklenberg spokesman John Wodele said the campaign learned about the upgrade, and the increased potential for national support it represents, last night.

“It’s recognition that we really have a shot at this seat,” he said.

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