With just two weeks away from the general election, Republican Chip Cravaack says he's doing "exceptionally well" in his race for Minnesota's 8th District U.S. House seat held by Democrat Jim Oberstar,
"I've voted for Oberstar all my life and I'm not voting for him this time," Cravaack said during an interview Monday at an informal gathering at Cragun's Resort and Hotel on Gull.
The voters in the district, who I talked to at parades, were telling me, "I've voted for Oberstar all my life and I'm not voting for him this time," Cravaack said during an interview Monday at an informal gathering at Cragun's Resort and Hotel on Gull.
Cravaack said his campaign team hired a "reputable polling firm" called Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs research firm, to have a poll conducted in late September and the results were in his favor. Cravaack said the poll first asked 300 people who they'd vote for to hold the congressional position. The results were 42 percent of the people would vote for Cravaack and 45 percent for Oberstar. Cravaack said then the pollsters asked the same question again after sharing the views of each candidate. That result showed Cravaack with 47 percent and Oberstar with 41 percent.
Minnesota 8th District Congressional candidate Chip Cravaack (middle) talked with Mike and Colleen Hammer Monday at an informal gathering at Cragun's Resort and Hotel on Gull.
Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
"I never touched the polls," said Cravaack. "Oberstar said this is a push poll, but that's incorrect. There is a 5 percent margin error, but it still shows me in a good position.
"I'm not a politician, but I'm going against one who has been one for 35 years.The people in the 8th District are telling me that he's been in here too long."
Cravaack, 51, who lives in Linstrom with his wife and two sons, said visited Cragun's to meet people, hear their concerns and then to take their message back to Congress. Cravaack said he and his campaign team have campaigned hard. Cravaack said his team has been in 86 parades this year and he was at 42 of them.
Cravaack, who has criticized Oberstar's health care bill, said he supports a health care reform that would offer people affordability, accessibility and quality. An example of this, Cravaack said is Lasik eye surgery. Cravaack said when the surgery concept first came out it was expensive and not a lot of doctors could do it. He said now there are plenty of doctors who do the surgery and the cost of having it done has gone down.
"This is a model concept," said Cravaack. "Competition (between the doctors) is key."
Cravaack questioned why residents can't purchase health care insurance out-of-state. He said if common groups worked together to purchase more specialized health care insurance it could help drive down costs. Cravaack said what Minnesota can't do is put the government between the people and the doctors.
Cravaack also has criticized the economic bailouts. He said it's not the government's job to bail out businesses. Cravaack said the Obama administration government buyout of the automobile industry did not work. He said the government became involved in 50 percent of the free market and 'that concerns me greatly."
Cravaack said he understands how people, who have lost their jobs or been laid off, feel in today's economy, because he was laid off for two years as a commercial pilot at Northwest Airlines. Cravaack also is a retired U.S. navy pilot.
"I've gone through it all so I understand what the people are going through," he said.
Cravaack said Monday's visit was short because he had plans to be in Duluth for an 8 a.m. debate with Oberstar on Tuesday.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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