Polling shows possible GOP pick-up of 2 'safe' Dem House seats in Minnesota

Some surprising good news from Minnesota. As Rich Baehr noted to me, because the Democrats are totally focused on holding onto the Senate,  the GOP stands a decent prospect of picking up House seats thought unwinnable just a few months back. In Minnesota, a new poll by KSTP TV shows (via The Examiner):

In our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, Republican challenger Stewart Mills leads incumbent Democrat Congressman Rick Nolan 47 percent to 39 percent. Another four percent support Green Party candidate Ray Sandman and 11 percent are undecided.

"This is a shocking poll and may suggest we have Oberstar all over again," said University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs, referring to longtime Democratic incumbent Jim Oberstar's loss to Chip Cravaack in 2010. "Clearly Mills is benefiting from a fundamental change in the 8th District that is trending in the Republicans' direction."

James Oberstar’s defeat in 2010 was a political earthquake in Minnesota, As Gary Gross of the Examiner notes:

For years, Jim Oberstar handily won re-election. In 2008, Oberstar won with 68% of the vote. In 2006, Oberstar won with 64% of the vote. In 2004, Oberstar won with 65% of the vote. 

Another “safe” House district in Minnesota also seems a potential GOP pick-up:

 … private polling by the Tarrance Group shows Torrey Westrom leading Collin Petersonin Minnesota's 7th District. If Republicans flip both those districts, a full-fledged political earthquake will have hit Minnesota.

Unfortunately, Al Franken enjoys a double digit polling lead over GOP nominee Mike McFadden, in no small part because of ads demonizing McFadden for his work in finance.  However, the last polls were 2 weeks ago.  Lachlan Markay of the Free Beacon writes:

Franken’s campaign has scoured public records for evidence that his opponent, investment banker Mike McFadden, has closed business deals that resulted in layoffs.

“‘The Democrats are going to try and nail McFadden as the incarnation of a Wall Street fat cat, as they did with Mitt Romney,” University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs told Bloomberg.

The Franken campaign points to a 2012 deal in which McFadden’s firm, Lazard Middle Market, organized a merger that relocated the corporate headquarters of Jazz Pharmaceuticals to low-tax Ireland, a move commonly known as a tax inversion.

McFadden says he was not directly involved in striking the deal, but Franken’s campaign has seized on it. “He knew he was helping an American company dodge paying taxes and is just as culpable for this deal as anyone else,” Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said in August.

Class warfare is all they have. But ironically:

Franken’s attack is complicated by the fact that he himself was an investor in Lazard’s parent company.

And:

 the Cayman Islands, enjoy the business of private equity firm Cohesive Capital Partners.

Joseph Franken, the senator’s son, is a senior associate at the firm, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Cohesive has two private equity funds that, while headquartered in New York City, are incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

Some surprising good news from Minnesota. As Rich Baehr noted to me, because the Democrats are totally focused on holding onto the Senate,  the GOP stands a decent prospect of picking up House seats thought unwinnable just a few months back. In Minnesota, a new poll by KSTP TV shows (via The Examiner):

In our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, Republican challenger Stewart Mills leads incumbent Democrat Congressman Rick Nolan 47 percent to 39 percent. Another four percent support Green Party candidate Ray Sandman and 11 percent are undecided.

"This is a shocking poll and may suggest we have Oberstar all over again," said University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs, referring to longtime Democratic incumbent Jim Oberstar's loss to Chip Cravaack in 2010. "Clearly Mills is benefiting from a fundamental change in the 8th District that is trending in the Republicans' direction."

James Oberstar’s defeat in 2010 was a political earthquake in Minnesota, As Gary Gross of the Examiner notes:

For years, Jim Oberstar handily won re-election. In 2008, Oberstar won with 68% of the vote. In 2006, Oberstar won with 64% of the vote. In 2004, Oberstar won with 65% of the vote. 

Another “safe” House district in Minnesota also seems a potential GOP pick-up:

 … private polling by the Tarrance Group shows Torrey Westrom leading Collin Petersonin Minnesota's 7th District. If Republicans flip both those districts, a full-fledged political earthquake will have hit Minnesota.

Unfortunately, Al Franken enjoys a double digit polling lead over GOP nominee Mike McFadden, in no small part because of ads demonizing McFadden for his work in finance.  However, the last polls were 2 weeks ago.  Lachlan Markay of the Free Beacon writes:

Franken’s campaign has scoured public records for evidence that his opponent, investment banker Mike McFadden, has closed business deals that resulted in layoffs.

“‘The Democrats are going to try and nail McFadden as the incarnation of a Wall Street fat cat, as they did with Mitt Romney,” University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs told Bloomberg.

The Franken campaign points to a 2012 deal in which McFadden’s firm, Lazard Middle Market, organized a merger that relocated the corporate headquarters of Jazz Pharmaceuticals to low-tax Ireland, a move commonly known as a tax inversion.

McFadden says he was not directly involved in striking the deal, but Franken’s campaign has seized on it. “He knew he was helping an American company dodge paying taxes and is just as culpable for this deal as anyone else,” Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said in August.

Class warfare is all they have. But ironically:

Franken’s attack is complicated by the fact that he himself was an investor in Lazard’s parent company.

And:

 the Cayman Islands, enjoy the business of private equity firm Cohesive Capital Partners.

Joseph Franken, the senator’s son, is a senior associate at the firm, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Cohesive has two private equity funds that, while headquartered in New York City, are incorporated in the Cayman Islands.