Minnesota's race to the Congress: Oberstar vs. Cravaack, which way are you leaning?

By Karli Miller

Minnesota's congressional race between Democrat Jim Oberstar and Republican Chip Cravaack has drawn a lot of attention in the media. An 18-year congressional veteran, Oberstar, is competing against newcomer, Cravaack. Who wins this race might have a lot to do with President Obama's progress so far.

According to Jim Geraghty, National Review Online, many people are unhappy with some of the moves President Obama has made so far. According to the Monmouth University poll, voters in the 8th district gave Obama a 40 percent approval rating and a 55 percent disapproval rating . Within district eight, 16 percent of Obama voters are swinging Republican and voting Republican for Congress.  Oberstar and Cravaack disagree on some very big issues that also leave the nation in disagreement: the Obama health care bill, the economy, and the war in Afghanistan. Not sure which way you'll vote? Check out the quick facts below and decide for yourself.

James Oberstar: Minnesota's House Democrat candidate


Served 18 terms in Congress.

Voted for Obama’s health care bill:

• Against abortion except for in cases of rape, incest, and a birth that would cause the death of the mother.

Stance On global warming (cap- and -trade)

•Cap-and-trade is the system to eliminate pollution from nation. •Goal is to reduce global warming emissions by 65 percent by the year 2050. •Limits carbon dioxide emissions in U.S. •Provides agriculture and forestry sequestration. •Carbon capture and storage. •Landfill and coal mine methane mitigation.

Supports stimulus program: What is Obama’s stimulus program?

Click here to find  out.

• Supports tax breaks for middle class families. The stimulus bill will help bring  relief to many Minnesota families. • Thanks to the stimulus Program there was investment in our highways, bridges and transit systems in Minnesota.

Doesn’t support war in Afghanistan:

•Wants to bring troops home. •Doesn’t believe the current plan is effective. •Voted against supplemental funding for the troop surge in Afghanistan. •Supports new GI Bill of Rights.

Stem cell research:

• Supports stem cell research only if adult stem cells are used.


•School districts and the government should have a partnership. • Supports HeadStart/early childhood education. • Supports giving financial aid to students pursuing higher education. Is concerned with tuition rates and the large amount of debt students are in. • Believes that giving private schools vouchers takes away resources from public education. • Females athletes still have less than half the opportunities that male athletes have in intercollegiate sports. Strongly supports Title IX. • Supports after-school and mentoring programs. • Supports comprehensive programs that emphasize both the value of abstinence and teach accurate information about sexual activity and contraception. • Wants to ensure that students are home schooled get federal aid for higher education.


Chip Cravaack speaks at the Chisago Isanti Grill and Chill 2010

Chip Cravaack: Minnesota's House Republican candidate


First run for political office, served 24 years in the U.S. Navy.

Against new health care bill:

•Wants to protect the unborn, and is 100% prolife. •It would eliminate jobs because there would be an increase in costs in providing health insurance to their staff. This could result in staff reductions or hiring freezes.

Against Oberstar's views on global warming (cap-and-trade):

•Would hurt mining companies, worried they wouldn’t be able to compete globally due to the expense. •Creates higher energy costs and would hurt our already suffering economy.  Living costs would increase between $650-$2,500 per year for the average American if it passes. •There are many challenges in the cap-and-trade plan. There is uncertainty of the availability of mitigation technologies and the level of international action on climate change.

Doesn’t support stimulus program:

• Supports Bush’s tax cuts. • Believes that it didn’t help unemployment. We are still below the 10 percent unemployment rate.

Supports war in Afghanistan:

•The war is keeping America safer and keeping the terrorists out of the United States.

Stem cell research:

• Supports stem cell research only if adult stem cells are used.


• Federal Government should stay out of the classroom. • Believes that competition between public, private and charter schools push each school to perform better and overall give the students a better education. • Teachers should be paid based on performance not longevity.

Test your knowledge on Minnesota's house candidates with this interactive crossword puzzle.(Click on each numbered box on the physical crossword puzzle to discover the question that it coordinates with.)

Listen to the final debate between Cravaack and Oberstar: