NRCC polls show Dem incumbents losing big

Via Jim Geraghty and with the usual caveats on internal polling come the results of polls from a dozen different House races, all of which are target districts for Republicans — and perhaps the biggest target for activists.  Chris Cillizza breaks it down at the Washington Post without any relevant crosstab data, and he also focuses on the race that has Republicans across the country salivating most:


A series of new GOP internal polls shows Republican candidates running away with House races in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington state.

The polls, conducted for the independent expenditure arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee and shared with The Fix, show Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) andKathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) all down by double digits.

Grayson, a well-funded liberal firebrand in a swing Orlando-area district, trails former state Sen. Daniel Webster (R) 46 percent to 30 percent in an OnMessage poll conducted last week. Just 29 percent of voters say the freshman congressman deserves another term.

Dahlkemper and Kilroy, who have both received little financial help from their national party, trail by 17 and 12 points, respectively. Car dealerMike Kelly (R) leads Dahlkemper 56 percent to 39 percent in a Fabrizio McLaughlin poll, while former state Sen. Steve Stivers (R) leads Kilroy 51 percent to 39 percent in a Public Opinion Strategies survey.

Jim has the entire list:

  • FL-8: Daniel Webster (R) 46, Alan Grayson* (D) 30
  • PA 3: Mike Kelly (R) 56, Kathy Dahlkemper* (D) 39
  • OH-15: Steve Stivers (R) 51, Mary Jo Kilroy* (D) 39
  • WA-3: Jaime Herrera (R) 51, Denny Heck (D) 38
  • NY-20: Chris Gibson (R) 48, Scott Murphy* (D) 45
  • MA-10: Jeff Perry (R) 44, Bill Keating (D) 42
  • IL-17: Bobby Schilling (R) 44, Phil Hare* (D) 41
  • PA-10: Tom Marino (R) 44, Chris Carney* (D) 37
  • VA-9: Morgan Griffith (R) 44, Rick Boucher* (D) 44
  • OR-5: Scott Bruun (R) 44, Kurt Schrader (D) 42
  • OH-6: Bill Johnson (R) 40, Charlie Wilson* (D) 40
    (* = denotes incumbent)

I believe it was Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight that postulated a six-point advantage in the gap for candidates whose campaigns conducted the internal polls.  If one applies that standard, it still shows all of the Republicans in the list within sight of victory, and none of the Democratic incumbents at 50%, although Scott Murphy would come close.  The adjustments do nothing for Dahlkemper or Kilroy, whose opponents would still dominate their races, and nothing for Alan Grayson, who at best would be at a paltry 33%, nowhere near a re-elect number for an incumbent.

Speaking of Nate, he’s promising to update his projections a little more often as we get closer to Election Day.  He’s predicting that Democrats will retain control of the Senate, but he’s relying on some questionably-sampled polls for that prediction:

There is modest movement in some individual races, however. Democratic chances are somewhat improved in West Virginia, where a new poll from Orion Strategies gives Gov. Joe Manchin III a 10-point lead over his Republican opponent, John Raese. Because West Virginia had been fairly heavily polled, however, and because the survey was issued by an unfamiliar pollster and had a small sample size, it does not have all that much influence in the outcome. Mr. Manchin’s chances are improved to 62 percent, from 57 percent last week.

Three additional polls are out in Washington State since our last update, and all of them show the Democratic incumbent, Patty Murray, with a small lead; her winning chances are improved to 84 percent from 78 percent. While her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, is far from out of the running, and while the polling has been inconsistent, the only nonpartisan polls since August to show Mr. Rossi with a lead are a series of polls from Rasmussen Reports — and their most recent survey now shows Ms. Murray with a lead.


Both of these races are close, so either candidate could win them — but that poll with the ten-point lead for Manchin came from a pollster who’s also the campaign manager for Democrat Mike Oliverio, running for Alan Mollohan’s old House seat.  I’d be more inclined to see the Rasmussen and Fox polls as more reliable in this case.  For Murray, both Rasmussen and Survey USA have her up by 3, within the MOE.  I’m not sure that would make me as sanguine as Silver’s 84% probability that she retains her seat, but I’d rather be three up than three down at the moment, too.

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