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A plethora of new polls on Midwestern House seats – IA, IN, MI, MO, OH, WA, WI

Yes, I know Washington isn’t in the Midwest. So sue me. In any case, we got a huge batch of polls for House races yesterday, which are normally few and far between. They also tend to be overlooked by blogs, so I thought I would give them a bit more exposure. Besides, they’re mostly good news.

The polls come to us courtesy of Ayres, McKinley, and Associates (on behalf of the American Action Forum), We Ask America, and Survey USA. Ayres is a Republican polling firm, and so the results might be slightly skewed in the favor of Reps. However, it shouldn’t be as bad as internal polling. We Ask America is a new firm that’s rather casual in their releases, and presumably skew rightward. However, their Senate polling is generally in line with others, and their poll of PA-12 shortly before the special election correctly showed Critz winning. So I think I can trust them. Survey USA is generally very solid, yet has had several eye-popping results so far this year (most recently their poll showing Rossi above 50% in WA-Sen). So you may need to take all of these polls with a grain of salt. Yet they’re the best we have, and should give us a good idea of the state of the House at the moment.

IA-03 (American Action Forum)
Boswell (D-inc) 41
Zaun (R) 51

Notes: Excellent news. Zaun is well known (71% name recognition), and Obama is not well liked (43% favorable, despite the district voting for him 54-45 in 2008). This is a seat that most of the major organizations rated as Lean Dem, so the fact that Zaun is already above the 50% mark is excellent. Zaun does face a major cash-on-hand disadvantage, so here’s hoping he can maintain that lead.

IN-02 (American Action Forum)
Donnelly (D-inc) 46
Walorski (R) 44

Notes: A bit disappointing, but not too surprising. Of the three IN seats that flipped to Dem in 2006, this one is definitely the hardest to get back. The fact that Walorski is only 2 points behind isn’t too bad of a result, although it’s clear that a lot of work is needed. Again, Obama is highly disliked (36% favorable, despite a 54-45 vote in 2008), but Donnelly isn’t (48-38 favorable). He did vote for Obamacare, so there is that against him, but Walorski needs to define him and define herself quickly if she’s going to win. All the major predictors also have this seat as Lean Dem.

MI-01 (We Ask America)
McDowell (D-OPEN) 29
Benishek (R) 45

Notes: Ugh, the worst thing about WAA polls is that they did it the day after the primary, which probably resulted in boosted name recognition for the Republicans. Still, even if Benishek got a boost, that’s a nice looking lead there. This is especially nice as Benishek is leading 41-18 among Independents. This race will probably tighten up despite the seeming advantages a Rep would have here, as this district has high union and government support.

MI-03 (We Ask America)
Miles (D) 30
Amash (R-OPEN) 51

Notes: This is the only Republican held district that was polled, and Amash as expected holds a comfortable lead. This isn’t too surprising, as this district is very conservative. Thankfully, Amash survived a crowded primary, as he looks like a young, solid conservative. While there was no reason to believe this seat would be troublesome to hold, it’s nice to have confirmation.

MI-07
We Ask America
Shauer (D-inc) 37
Walberg (R) 45

American Action Forum
Schauer 40
Walberg 50

Notes: It’s nice to see some confirmation that both of these polling firms are in the same place. Also nice to see confirmation that Walberg has a decent lead. These two faced each other in 2008, and Schauer narrowly beat the incumbent Walberg thanks to a massive, dishonest media blitz. They both have positive favorability ratings, interestingly enough, which is a bit surprising given that both candidates are well known. Also, as a personal note, I drove through the northern part of this district a few days ago, and Schauer was easily winning the sign war. I’m hoping that’s not a bad omen. C’mon conservatives, where’s your enthusiasm?

MO-03 (American Action Forum)
Carnahan (D-inc) 54
Martin (R) 38

Notes: Easily the most disappointing result today. Fortunately, this one was pretty far down the list of possible pickups (rated as either Likely Dem or Safe Dem by everyone), so it’s not like this was unexpected. Still, seeing Carnahan above the magic 50% so early is not a good sign. Perhaps a poor showing by his sister in the Senate might bring him down somewhat, but I don’t have much faith in it. Interestingly enough, We Ask America also polled this seat a week ago, and saw 48-39 for Carnahan. So whatever else you can say about these two firms, they seem to be consistent with each other.

OH-01 (America Action Forum)
Driehaus (D-inc) 45
Chabot (R) 47

Notes: Ouch. This was supposed to be a slam dunk for Republicans, and yet Steve has only a 2 point lead over Steve? Part of the problem lies with the fact that Obama is viewed favorably (50-42) in this district, which is a bit surprising given the cratering he’s had in Ohio overall. Chabot has a 53-31 favorable rating, so hopefully the undecideds will break for him. This is a rematch of a 52-48 loss for Chabot in 2008, so hopefully he can swing it just a little bit the other way. This is the one race tat AAF and WAA disagree with, as WAA gave Chabot a 51-39 lead a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, a poll for the pro-life SBA List back also had Chabot at 51-41 a few weeks ago. So maybe this is an outlier poll…

OH-13 (American Action Forum)
Sutton (D-inc) 43
Ganley (R) 41

Notes: Yeah, Ganley’s losing, but it’s within the margin of error. He only has 65% name recognition, and thus has space to define himself if needed. This is probably the 4th or 5th best pickup chance in Ohio, and the fact that it’s so close is definitely a good thing (especially with Portman and Kasich likely to win in the upstream races). Ganley’s a self funder, and so should have enough money to get his name out there and push his numbers up.

OH-15 (American Action Forum)
Kilroy (D-inc) 44
Stivers (R) 49

Notes: Yeesh, another race that is closer than it should be. Again, Obama is viewed relatively favorably in this district (49-46), but Kilroy isn’t (43-47). Stivers already has pretty high name recognition, but he still apparently has some work to do in order to cross the finish line. Thankfully, it looks like he’s almost there. Note that this is a D+1 district, so it’s not exactly a red seat, but this is a prime pick up seat nonetheless. For what it’s worth, WAA also had similar numbers a couple weeks ago, with Stivers leading 46-41.

OH-16 (American Action Forum)
Boccieri (D-inc) 35
Renacci (R) 49

Notes: Now that’s more like it. This is something of a second-tier seat in Ohio, and was generally seen as not as likely to flip as OH-01 and OH-15. Yet Renacci is doing quite well here, despite only having 66% name recognition. This poll appears to feature an oversampling of senior citizens, however, so it may be an outlier. Still, it would take an awful lot of college students to cut into Renacci’s lead enough.

WA-03 (Survey USA)
Heck (D-OPEN) 41
Herrera (R) 54

Notes: I promise I will try to get through this without making a pun on the Dem’s last name. Aw, what the heck, I might as well… In any case, despite being a purplish-blue seat, Herrera seems poised to win. And really, this isn’t surprising. Republicans won 54% of the vote here in the jungle primary last week, and these primaries are very good predictors of the final vote. So SUSA appears to be right on target with this one.

WI-08 (American Action Forum)
Kagen (D-inc) 39
Ribble (R-Presumed primary winner) 49

Notes: Wow. Nice. Wisconsin hasn’t had its primary yet, but Ribble is the front runner and should have a lock on the nomination. This seat wasn’t on too many people’s radar, and it’s rated Lean Dem or Likely Dem by just about everyone. But that’s an impressive lead, and certainly puts this race on the map. Ribble has 59% name recognition, so hopefully he can improve even more and make this a blowout. It helps that Kagen has 43-48 favorable-unfavorable ratings, and Obama is 40-54.

(H/T: Campaign Spot for the AAF and SUSA polls)

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