MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As of Tuesday, there will only be seven weeks until Election Day. And while much of the focus and here and across the country has been on the presidential race, members of Congress are up for re-election as well.

This week an internal poll released by Rep. Michele Bachmann’s democratic challenger Jim Graves shows he is barely trailing her. The poll shows Bachman with 48 percent and hotel owner Graves with 46 percent. Six percent were undecided.

But how reliable are internal polls that are paid for by individual candidates?

In her last reelection bid Representative Michele Bachmann smashed Congressional records by raising $13 million. In 2010, she won re-election easily with a 12-point margin. She elevated her profile even more this year by running for President.

Her challenger this time around is a first-time candidate, Graves Hotel founder and businessman Jim Graves. According to a poll Graves paid for, he is now within striking distance of victory.

Candidates of both parties use internal polls, but how seriously should the public take them and does Graves really have a shot of winning?

“That is the big issue here. Can the challenger here, Jim Graves, capitalize on that sense of discontent on how the Congresswoman is performing, a little bit of fatigue with her national political work with her running for office, the controversy that surrounds her,” said Professor Larry Jacobs, appearing on WCCO Sunday Morning. “Will republicans and independents take the jump to vote for a Republican? My hunch is that it is still a district that leans towards Congresswoman Bachmann.”

Jacobs says another factor helping Bachmann is that newly redistricted 6th Congressional District is even more conservative than the old one.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m and at 10:30 a.m.

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