Sabato's Crystal Ball

Minnesota (08) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely D

Democratic candidate: James Oberstar, incumbent

Republican candidate: Chip Cravaack , US Navy pilot (retired) and commercial pilot

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Background:

A Democrat has represented this district since the 1940s, but the district has had white working class voters trending over to the Republican camp for quite some time. Thus, it is increasingly becoming Republican territory. Recent polling has shown a tight race here, and while Jim Oberstar has an edge, it isn’t an overwhelming one. Oberstar has held the seat since 1975, making him one of the most senior members in the House and unsurprisingly, is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. But, after all, this is 2010 and unfortunately for the Democrats no seat can be considered absolutely safe. Meanwhile, Chip Cravaack, a retired U.S. Navy and commerical pilot is mounting an effective campaign, though he trails Oberstar in funding and cash-on-hand by a 10:1 margin. Though this race will most likely go to Oberstar, the upstart from the Cravaack campaign merits some attention. This looks to be one of the more competitive races Oberstar has seen in quite some time. Nonetheless, this race is Likely Democrat.