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The Twittersphere just exploded minutes ago when Michael Brodkorb announced that the AP had called the Eighth Congressional District race for Chip Cravaack. With 97.5 percent of the precincts reporting, Chip Cravaack is leading with 131,670 votes to Rep. Oberstar’s 127,497 votes, a margin of 1.5 percent and 4,173 votes.

Here’s the AP’s article:

Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar is out.

The dean of Minnesota’s congressional delegation and the powerful chairman of the House Transportation Committee has been defeated by newcomer Chip Cravaack.

Cravaack is a former Navy and Northwest Airlines pilot.

In TV ads, Cravaack said he ran against Oberstar “with all due respect.” But he criticized Oberstar for federal spending and supporting the health care overhaul.

On Oct. 14, I predicted that Chip would win:

Based on Michele’s fundraising ability, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chip’s coffers fill up fast. If Chip can start running ads about Oberstar’s voting for Cap and Trade and his indifference towards getting the PolyMet mine running, rest assured that Chip will cast Rep. Oberstar in an extremely negative light.

In fact, I’ll take a big step here. If Chip gets the money to run those ads on Oberstar’s voting for Cap and Trade and his indifference toward getting PolyMet up and running, Chip will win.

While I have bragging rights on the prediction, the real story is Chip and his campaign team. Their messaging was crisp. The fights they picked resonated with Eighth District voters. They fought in parts of the district that, frankly, most previous GOP candidates didn’t attempt to campaign in.

Chip’s message resonated, too, with Iron Rangers because Rep. Oberstar voted for Cap and Trade, which, if it’d been implemented, would’ve ended mining and killed thousands of jobs.

The other thing that can’t be overemphasized is the negative impact that the debate at the DECC had on the race. While Oberstar’s performance likely didn’t change anyone’s mind in the hall that day, I’m positive that Oberstar’s performance turned off unafilliated voters. Without those voters switching over to Chip’s column, Chip wouldn’t be celebrating right now.

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