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Bachmann ekes out win, Cravaack loses

Nov. 7, 2012 at 5:10 AM   |   Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Rep. Michele Bachmann toughed out a close victory in Minnesota early Wednesday, while President Obama and Sen. Amy Klobuchar breezed to wins, results showed.

CNN called Bachmann, a Tea Party stalwart who had sought the GOP presidential nomination, the winner in the conservative 6th District. With 98 percent of the precincts counted, CNN said Bachmann had defeated Democratic businessman Jim Graves 51 percent to 49 percent (172,404 to 168,438).

First-term GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, who had knocked off longtime Democratic 8th District Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010, lost by 10 points to Democrat Rick Nolan, who had served in Congress in the 1970s. CNN said Nolan had a 55-45 margin (189,677 to 158,187) with 98 percent of the votes in.

Cravaack called Nolan to concede before telling supporters gathered at a popular Hinckley restaurant that it had been "a privilege and an honor to serve the people of the 8th District.''

With 97 percent of the Minnesota vote counted, Obama beat Romney 53 percent to 45 percent, taking the state's 10 electoral votes, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Klobuchar, a Democratic incumbent, trounced Republican challenger Kurt Bills by 65 percent to 30 percent with 94 percent of precincts reporting.

Klobuchar's one-sided margin marks her as one of the most popular lawmakers in Congress. She has said she will focus on economic issues, the federal budget and the deficit.

Bills is a first-term state legislator from the suburban Twin Cities.

Also among the Minnesota winners were incumbent Democratic U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, Keith Ellison and Collin Peterson, as well as Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

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