MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s 8th District matchup is one of the most competitive races in the country and could help decide who controls Congress.
A New York Times poll released last month shows a dead heat between Democrat Joe Radinovich and Republican Pete Stauber. The poll gives Radinovich with a 44 to 43 percentage point lead but that is well within the polls 4.6 percent margin of error.
At an assisted lived home in Taylors Falls, residents talk to Pete Stauber. One resident told him, “for the seniors, we don’t need anything more cut.”
Stauber replied, “those are benefits that you earned and I am going to strengthen and protect them for you.”
About 130 miles away in Duluth, Radinovich talks to union members.
“We are going to be outspent in this race I hate to say it, but what we have are people,”
Radinovich warns Republicans will cut senior entitlements
“To me it’s not only wrong but it is immoral that we would finance tax giveaways for the wealthiest people in the country at the expense of programs like social security and medicate,” Radinovich said.
If you have any doubt about how important the 8th Congressional District is for both parties nationally, when WCCO traveled to Taylors Falls and Duluth this week, we found the candidates campaigning with prominent members of the House leadership.
Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan was with Radinovich, Georgia Congressman Doug Collins with Stauber.
In June, the President came to Duluth for Stauber.
We asked Stauber: “If this is a referendum on the President, are you going to win?”
He replied: “well, look at jobs and the economy.”
Stauber added the President responded to an appeal by reversing the Obama administration’s mining ban.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, that was the biggest assault on our way of life in northern Minnesota,’” Stauber said.
Radinovich comes back to the President’s tax bill, which he says cut work-related travel deductions used by union and trade workers.
“Those deductions are all going away in this tax bill, rest assured the people who want to deduct the cost of a corporate jet will still be able to do that,” he said.
The winner replaces retiring Rick Nolan. The Democratic congressman narrowly defeated the Republican candidate in 2016 while President Trump decisively beat Hillary Clinton in the district.
The district stretches from Taylors Falls and Lindstrom in the south through the Iron Range and Boundary Waters to Canada.