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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Great Big Midwestern House Race Polling Roundup



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The American Action Forum has completed its second round of polling of key House races, this time focusing on the Midwest. (Last time I referred to a state as being in the Midwest, I heard some gripes, so let’s just say “the middle part.”)

All of the races feature Democrat incumbents.

Among the highlights:

IA-3: “Despite challenger Brad Zaun having 71 percent name recognition compared to Representative Leonard Boswell’s 98 percent name recognition, Zaun leads by a 51 to 41 percent margin.”

MO-3: “Our polling, conducted for American Action Forum on August 16, 17, and 21, with 400 likely general election voters, shows Representative Russ Carnahan with a comfortable lead at the start of the Fall campaign. Carnahan’s 51 to 35 percent favorable-unfavorable rating (with 98 percent total name ID) exceeds challenger Ed Martin’s 16 to 9 percent rating (with 43 percent total name ID), and Carnahan leads by a 54 to 38 percent margin.”

MI-7: “Our polling, conducted for American Action Forum on August 16-18, with 400 likely general election voters, shows a competitive contest in the district. Challenger Tim Walberg has a 41 to 31 percent favorable rating compared to Representative Mark Schauer’s 40 to 36 percent rating, and leads by a 50 to 40 percent margin on the ballot test.”

OH-1: “Challenger Steve Chabot’s 53 to 31 percent favorable-unfavorable rating is better than Representative Steve Driehaus’s 43 to 39 percent rating, and Chabot leads by a slim 47 to 45 percent margin.”

OH-13: “Despite Representative Betty Sutton having an advantage in name recognition (87 percent, compared to 65 percent for challenger Tom Ganley) she leads by just a slim 43 to 41 percent margin.”

OH-15: “Challenger Steve Stivers has a 35 to 18 percent favorable rating with 80 percent name recognition compared to Representative Mary Jo Kilroy’s 43 to 47 percent rating with 99 percent name recognition. Stivers leads by a slim 49 to 44 percent margin on the ballot test.”

OH-16: “Despite challenger Jim Renacci having 66 percent name recognition compared to Representative John Boccieri’s 93 percent name recognition, Renacci leads by a 49 to 35 percent margin.”

WI-8: “Despite Representative Steve Kagen having 99 percent name ID (with a 43 to 48 percent favorable-unfavorable rating) compared to challenger Reid Ribble’s 59 percent (21 to 11 percent favorable), Ribble leads on the ballot by a 49 to 39 percent margin.”

UPDATE: One more addition, held up by a tech issue:

IN-2: Challenger Jackie Walorski has a 36 to 28 percent favorable rating with 78 percent name recognition compared to Representative Joe Donnelly’s 48 to 38 percent rating with 97 percent name recognition. Donnelly leads by a slim 46 to 44 percent margin on the ballot test.

I would summarize these results as pretty good, but not fantastic, for Republican aspirations. Clearly, this is a cycle where a bunch of GOP challengers have garnered leads over well-known Democrat incumbents, so it’s actually a little bit disappointing to see strong candidates like Walorski or Ganley trailing. This is not to say that these candidates won’t win; I think they have excellent chances.

Looking more broadly at these districts, the pollsters find:

A plurality of voters prefers a Republican on the generic ballot test. While each of these nine districts have Democratic incumbents, voters in these districts prefer a Republican to a Democrat as their next congressman by a 38 to 33 percent margin.

President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are both viewed unfavorably in these districts. Voters in these districts give Barack Obama a 44 to 49 percent favorable to unfavorable rating and give Nancy Pelosi a 27 to 56 percent rating.

A majority of the likely voters in these districts opposes the health care reform plan. Voters oppose the new law by a 52 to 38 percent margin, including 42 percent who strongly oppose it.


Tags: 2010


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