2010 Elections Poll Roundup: Trouble for Democrats in GOP Districts

The economy is driving voter preferences this year.


Today's polls are troubling for some long-term House Democrats, especially those in districts that supported Republicans in the last two presidential elections. This group includes Florida's Allen Boyd, Georgia's Jim Marshall, South Carolina's John Spratt and Texas's Chet Edwards, who are all trailing their GOP challengers. However, two-term Democratic Rep. Michael Arcuri has opened up a lead in New York. Meanwhile, the Senate race in West Virginia remains virtually tied. And while President Obama this week campaigns in states struggling with high unemployment, a new survey shows a majority of voters will be thinking about the economy when they cast their ballots in the 2010 election. Here is today's poll roundup:


A Rasmussen poll released today shows 61 percent of likely voters think Congress is doing a poor job, while 12 percent say the legislature is doing well. Among Democrats, 17 percent give Congress a "good" or "excellent" rating, while 79 percent of Republicans give lawmakers a poor grade.

A Gallup poll finds the economy is the biggest issue for registered voters in the 2010 election. When they go to vote for Congress in this midterm, 43 percent say the economy is most important, while 23 percent say healthcare is the top issue. The Afghanistan war is the key issue for 6 percent, while 5 percent say illegal immigration will be their top concern when they go to vote.

Another Gallup survey shows 25 percent of registered voters are casting their ballots early in this election. However, this number is seven points lower than it was in 2008. Among Democrats, 28 percent say they've already voted or plan to vote early compared with 23 percent of Republicans. Voters in the West are voting earlier than those in the other regions, with 59 percent saying they have either already cast their ballots or are planning to before Election Day.

[See photos from the campaign trail.]

Florida's 2nd House District

Seven-term Representative Boyd trails Republican Steve Southerland 50 percent to 38 percent among likely voters, with 9 percent undecided, according to a Hill/Penn Schoen Berland poll. Only 34 percent of the voters in this survey view Boyd favorably. The poll also found that 61 percent disapprove of the job the president is doing, and 68 percent say Obama is an important factor when they cast their votes.

Georgia's 8th House District

Four-term lawmaker Marshall lags 13 percentage points behind Republican Austin Scott, 50 percent to 37 percent among likely voters, with 10 percent undecided, according to a Hill/Penn Schoen Berland poll. Marshall, a conservative Democrat who voted against the healthcare reform bill, has a 45 percent favorability rating, the poll shows. His district voted for Republicans in the past two presidential elections.

New York's 19th District

Second-term Democratic Rep. John Hall and Republican Nan Hayworth are locked in a statistical dead heat, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll released today. Hall edges Hayworth 47 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, with a 3.8 percent margin of error. The candidates are running even among independents, too, with 48 percent supporting Hall and 47 percent backing Hayworth. The survey shows 51 percent view Obama unfavorably. Though the district backed Obama two years ago, it supported Bush in 2004. The same poll two weeks ago showed Hayworth with the narrow lead.

New York's 24th House District

Second-term Representative Arcuri leads Republican Richard Hanna 48 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, according to a Siena College Research Institute Poll. Arcuri leads among independents 50 percent to 38 percent. Obama has a pretty even favorable/unfavorable rating in the state, 47 percent give him positive remarks while 49 percent view him unfavorably.

[Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.]

Pennsylvania Senate

Polls show mixed results in the Pennsylvania Senate race. A Franklin & Marshall College poll released today shows Toomey leading Rep. Joe Sestak 43 percent to 36 percent among likely voters. Meanwhile, a Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll shows the pair in a statistical dead heat, with Toomey edging Sestak 46 percent to 41 percent among likely voters with a 5 percent margin of error. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows the pair deadlocked at 46 percent. In the same poll, the majority of voters said jobs and the economy are the biggest issues in the state.