Michele Bachmann, Tarryl Clark campaigns taking shape

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Election season is heating up... and with it what's sure to be a mega-battle in District 6.

Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann may be a national embarrassment to some of us, but her constituents in the 6th District just love her.

That could make it tough for Democratic challenger Tarryl Clark, who so far is playing it smart by portraying Bachmann as out for herself rather than her constituents. An entire section of Clark's campaign Web site is dedicated to lampooning Bachmann.

With a record amount of money pouring into the race from all over the country, campaign ads are expected to hit the airwaves soon. The DFL-endorsed Clark is Bachmann's most serious opponent yet, and it could get ugly.

Political scientist Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota expects the contenders to take different strategies in their campaigns.

"The issue I see Democrats developing: whether she delivers for the district," Jacobs says. "I think there's a meat and potatoes campaign that could be run against her pretty effectively. What kind of legislation has she passed? How many votes has she missed?"

"I think if Tarryl Clark can make the campaign a referendum of Michele Bachmann advancing her own political agenda rather than the jobs and needs of the district... then I think Tarryl Clark has a shot."

Bachmann is likely to attack Clark's record in the state Senate and portray her as too liberal for the district, Jacobs says. That has appeal in her Republican-leaning district.

"I think if it becomes an ideological battle, Tarryl Clark is cooked," says Jacobs.

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