Tinklenberg said Bachmann needs to focus on serving the district and the issues facing it if she's going to keep her seat.
"Clearly, the conservative agenda she has fits with most of the district. People will understand and accept it — as long as she's taking care of the local issues. They'll give her some latitude in terms of some of the more conservative elements of her value system," Tinklenberg said.
Bachmann might take solace in nearly surviving a broad shellacking of Minnesota Republicans on Tuesday. The GOP lost both houses of the Legislature, the U.S. Senate race and a U.S. House seat, and voters rejected two amendments backed by the party. They preferred Obama over Romney, too.
Despite her narrow win, and despite a presidential campaign that ended when she finished last in the Iowa precinct caucuses, Bachmann still has a national following among tea party and social conservatives who look to her for leadership.
The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List issued a statement Wednesday calling her a "pro-life hero" and one of the movement's "most-trusted and valued allies in Washington."