MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The race for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District is turning out to be one of the most expensive in the country.

Not only are the candidates spending millions of their own campaign dollars, but millions more from outside groups is pouring in.

So far, $10.5 million from outside groups has helped fuel the TV onslaught.

On top of that, Rep. Rick Nolan and challenger Stewart Mills have spent more than $5 million on their own.

One reason there’s so much money involved is because, according to both sides, the race is close.

While there are only about 25 or so congressional races that have the potential to flip from one party to the other, this is one of the few districts that has recently gone back and forth.

In the last six years, the district has flipped from Democrat to Republican and back to Democrat.

In 2014, Nolan beat Mills by less than 4,000 votes.

“There is probably only about four or five seats where we have seen it flip back and forth like the 8th District,” Hamline University political science professor David Schultz said. “So this might be one of the most competitive races in the country.”

With both parties fighting for control of Congress, a win in the 8th District is key for both sides.

Another factor is that the sprawling district includes the TV markets of both Duluth and the Twin Cities, meaning the campaigns and outside groups need to buy ads in both markets.

And then there is the Trump factor.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leads rival Hillary Clinton among white, non-college-educated men by a stunning 76 percent to 17 percent in the 8th District.

Trump’s lead is so great in this demographic that it could have a coattail effect that might help Mills.

With only two weeks left until the election and more money continuing to pour in, overall spending in this race could possibly exceed $20 million.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden will be in Duluth Friday to campaign for Nolan and Clinton, sources tell WCCO.

Esme Murphy

Comments (6)
  1. Nolan the Snake Oil Salesman says:

    Rick Nolan is a snake. He pushed ObamaCare-MNsure down our throats. Now no one can afford the premiums and especially the high deductibles. Gov Dayton even said it’s no longer affordable. You will be forced to file for bankruptcy with your medical bills. There’s absolutely no way to pay them back. The deductibles are extremely high.

  2. Fred says:

    Nolan comes off as the kind old grandfather, the problem is his votes run contrary to most rural Minnesotans beliefs. He even favors Obama’s directive to make wood stoves and wood furnaces of any type illegal. When I wrote to complain about this he wrote back and said relax, you still have until 2017 to buy one legally. What????!!!!!

  3. Mike Coxin says:

    Notice how stewie mills hunts with his rifle slung over his shoulder? And do you see any blood on his hunting clothes? They look so clean that I bet he took them off the rack and put them on just for the photo op. I bet he pays someone to hunt and shoot his deer, field dress it, haul it out of the woods, process it, and eat it. stewie is no outdoorsman. He like yachts.

    1. Kally Waters says:

      Gee Mike, so much of what you are saying is so cool and important. Thanks for your brilliant insight.

  4. Rep. Rick Nolan is in it for himself and he needs to go! He has been on the Dem gravy train long enough

  5. Kally Waters says:

    STOP Rick Nolan and his destruction of family income through the MNsure rip off fraud.