Wednesday's polls show signs of trouble for several two-term House Democrats in competitive districts, with a little less than two weeks to go until the 2010 election. These Democrats, in states like Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arizona and New Hampshire were first elected in 2006, the year their party swept both the House and Senate. Vulnerable Democratic Reps. Harry Mitchell of Arizona, Travis Childers of Mississippi and Christopher Carney of Pennsylvania who represent districts that voted for John McCain in 2008 are statistically tied with their GOP opponents. Also, Reps. Bill Foster of Illinois and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, who represent districts that supported Obama in 2008 but voted for George W. Bush in 2004 are in trouble. Foster is neck and neck with his Republican opponent while Shea-Porter is trailing by five points. However, two-term Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania opened up a 12 point lead over his GOP opponent in a district that voted for McCain in 2008. Meanwhile, Republican Marco Rubio has a significant lead in Florida's three-way Senate race and Republican Rob Portman leads by double digit in Ohio's Senate race. Here is a roundup of today's polls:
[Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.]
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows 50 percent of likely voters want a Republican controlled Congress compared to 43 percent who prefer Democrats. The same poll found 53 percent of Republicans are interested in voting in 2010 compared to 40 percent of Democrats.
Arizona's 5th House District
Two-term Representative Mitchell and Republican David Schweikert are in a statistical dead heat, according to a poll from The Hill and Penn Schoen Berland. Schweikert leads Mitchell 45 percent to 42 percent among likely voters, with a 4.9 percent margin of error. Mitchell beat Schweikert in the 2008 congressional race by 9 percentage points. President Obama's approval ratings in this district are 53 percent. McCain won this district in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote.
Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Ken Buck remain in a statistical tie, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Buck holds a slight lead over Bennet, 48 percent to 45 percent among likely voters with a 4.9 percent margin of error.
In Florida's three-way Senate race, Republican Marco Rubio leads independent Gov. Charlie Crist 39 percent to 31 percent. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek is trailing both of his opponents, with 22 percent among likely voters. The poll also found that 56 percent of likely Meek voters would choose Crist as a second option, while 8 percent would vote for Rubio. Additionally, 58 percent say the country is heading in the wrong direction and 52 percent approve of the job Obama is doing as president.
Republican Rep. Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias are in a virtual tie, according to a Rasmussen poll released today. With a 4 percent margin of error, Kirk takes a slight lead over Giannoulias, 44 percent to 40 percent among likely voters. The same poll last week showed Giannoulias with a one point lead. The two candidates are vying for Obama's old Senate seat.
Illinois' 14th House District
First term Democrat Foster and Republican state Sen. Randy Hultgren are in a virtual tie, according to the Hill/Penn Schoen Berland. With a 4.9 percent margin of error, Hultgren leads Foster by one point, 43 percent to 42 percent, with 12 percent undecided. Among likely voters, 71 percent said Obama would be a factor when they vote in November, and 45 percent disapprove of the job he is doing as president. This district voted for Obama in 2008 but chose Bush in 2004.
Illinois' 17th House District
Two-term Democratic Rep. Phil Hare is trailing Republican Bobby Schilling 38 percent to 45 percent among likely voters, according to the Hill/Penn Schoen Berland poll. Among independents, 50 percent say they would support Schilling compared to 29 percent for Hare.