More mid-October polls are now public from races across the nation, many from unfamiliar survey firms or sources. Below are several of the most notable with an analysis as to the believability of the results:
GA-2: Lester & Associates (10/7-10; 500 GA-2 voters for the Sanford Bishop campaign)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D) …… 50%
Mike Keown (R) ………………. 40%
Rep. Bishop released his internal poll after GOP challenger Keown’s late September Public Opinion Strategies survey posted him to within one point. This is a heavy African-American district, meaning a loyal Democratic base. A low black turnout is Keown’s only chance to come through on Election Day.
IL-10: We Ask America (10/15; 1,148 likely voters; automated)
Bob Dold (R) ……….. 50%
Dan Seals (D) ………. 39%
This race has been a bit of a mystery ever since the February 2nd primary. Just last week another poll (Penn Schoen – 10/2-7) went public showing Democratic nominee Seals to be holding a similar 49-37% advantage. We Ask America has conducted sporadic polls in several states. Their reliability track record is virtually unknown. Best guess: the race is a toss-up. Dold must have a favorable turnout model to achieve victory. Though the district has elected a Republican congressman for more than 30 consecutive years, the voting trends here lean Democratic in other races.
MN-1: Survey USA (10/12-14; 584 likely voters; automated from a pool of 800 registered MN-1 voters)
Rep. Tim Walz (D) ……….. 47%
Randy Demmer (R) ………. 42%
Survey USA has reported many polls this election cycle that have been out of the mainstream, and tending to favor Republicans. In this case, however, the poll results seem reasonable. Though state Rep. Randy Demmer is being heavily outspent by two-term incumbent Tim Walz, the district can certainly elect a Republican. Former Rep. Gil Gutknecht, for example, held the seat for twelve years, winning in the GOP landslide year of 1994 and losing in the 2006 Democratic sweep. If 2010 becomes a wave, this district could yield another surprise.
PA-7: Franklin & Marshall College (10/5-11; 471 likely PA-7 voters; live telephone interviews)
Pat Meehan (R) ………… 34%
Bryan Lentz (D) ……….. 31%
PA-8: Monmouth University (10/11-13; 646 likely PA-8 voters; automated)
Mike Fitzpatrick (R) ……………. 51%
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) ……… 46%
Two college polls with differing degrees of reliability. The Franklin & Marshall survey period is extended, thus making the results less accurate. The fact that the undecided factor is still so high as the race becomes better defined also raises questions. The spread – Meehan leading, but his margin tightening – is consistent with many other surveys.
The Monmouth poll appears to be tighter, even with the automated format. This result is very consistent with other data that shows former Rep. Fitzpatrick to be leading beyond the margin of error in his attempt to regain the seat he lost to Congressman Murphy four years ago.