The Campaign Spot

New House Polls in Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Maine

There are a few interesting new House polls since my list of 117.

In Michigan, the open seat in the 3rd district, represented by retiring Republican Vernon Ehlers, is likely to remain Republican, as expected:

In what is expected to be a strong year for Republicans in Congress, a poll conducted for the Free Press and four Michigan TV stations shows state Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township holding a 46% to 37% edge over his Democratic opponent, Grand Rapids lawyer Pat Miles.

Another poll shows less chance of a GOP upset against John Dingell, the Democrat who, along with his father, has represented a southeastern region of Michigan for 77 years.

A Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll released Thursday shows Dingell with a comfortable, if uncharacteristically small for him, 17 percentage-point lead — 53 percent to 36 percent. The telephone poll of 400 voters, conducted Sunday through Tuesday by EPIC/MRA of Lansing, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

(Keep in mind that if Rob Steele splits the remaining undecideds — a conservative estimate, I think — he would hold Dingell to 58.5 percent of the vote, the smallest share the 27-term Dingell has ever had.)

The Tarrance Group, a GOP polling firm, offers some fascinating and encouraging tidbits. Of course, take as many grains of salt as you deem necessary.

In Mississippi:

Incumbent Democrat Congressman Gene Taylor is in danger of defeat, as Republican challenger Steven Palazzo has pulled into the lead in the race for Congress. Among voters overall, Palazzo leads Taylor by +2 points, 43% to 41%. Another 3% support other candidates, and 12% of voters are undecided.

And in Tennessee:

A poll released Wednesday shows Republican Stephen Fincher leading Democrat Roy Herron by 10 points in the 8th Congressional District race, with 14 percent of likely voters still undecided.

A separate poll conducted for Fincher’s campaign on Monday and Tuesday showed similar results, with Fincher receiving 47 percent of the vote of those polled and Herron coming in with 36 percent. Independent candidate Donn Janes got 3 percent of the vote, and 14 percent were undecided. The Tarrance Group, a Republican polling group, surveyed 304 likely voters in Fincher’s poll.

Finally, in Maine, one of the two seats appears to be in play, although Republican Dean Scontras is still the underdog:

In Maine’s 1st Congressional District race, Republican Dean Scontras has pulled into a statistical dead heat with Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, the new poll indicates. That differs sharply from previous polls that had Pingree with solid leads, despite a tightening of the race this month . . . Pingree supporters totaled 45 percent while Scontras totaled 40 percent, with 13 percent undecided. Because the margin of error on that question is 5.7 percentage points, the race is statistically even, according to the poll. Last week’s Maine Poll had Pingree with 48 percent and Scontras with 33 percent.

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