Michele Bachmann's District No Longer Exists, But She's Running for Congress Anyway

This morning, a special court in Minnesota ruled that Michele Bachmann's home district is to be folded into another district to reflect population shifts from the last 10 years. Bachmann, who is nothing if not tenacious, says she'll run for re-election, in her home district, anyway — against another incumbent Minnesota Congresswoman. This is going to be the most entertaining Congressional race of 2012.

If Bachmann wants to run in the reconfigured district, she'll have to face six-term incumbent Democrat Betty McCollum, who, for all intents and purposes, is the complete opposite of Bachmann. She's left wing. She's a big supporter of both gay civil rights and abortion rights. Here she is visiting a Planned Parenthood in support of the organization. She's a supporter of universal health care and environmental protection. She's spoken in favor of supporting global maternal health initiatives. And unlike Bachmann and her visions of a theocracy, McCollum caused a stir when she omitted "Under God" from the pledge of allegiance during a legislative session (McCollum later said that the omission was unintentional). Minnesota's 4th district, which absorbed Bachmann's 6th, is urban and heavily Democratic; during the last election, McCollum defeated her Republican challenger by more than 20 points. Her closest margin of victory came when she was first elected to office in the year 2000. That year, McCollum only defeated her Republican challenger by 17 percentage points.

In the state of Minnesota, aspiring Congressmen need not establish residency in the district in which they run, so Bachmann could theoretically just run in a random other district and hope that the voting public didn't view it as a move designed to nakedly avoid having to face McCollum.

No matter what she chooses to do, Bachmann's got a tough road ahead of her, but she's nothing if not insistant. Her home district still leans red, and she won reelection in 2010 by a 12-point margin. But will it be enough to defeat the popular, progressive McCollum? Or, uh, anyone? God, I hope not.

Bachmann says she'll run in 6th district despite new maps [KSTP]