The Hill and America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) commissioned a poll of 12 hotly contested House races, and found that Republican challengers are beating freshman Democrats in 11 of them, with the remaining race tied. Among the dozen congressional districts polled, half are in districts where Sarah Palin has made endorsements, and five are among the "Take Back the 20" House seats targeted by SarahPAC:
Arizona-1 - Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) vs. Paul Gosar (R)Not among the "Take Back the 20," but a key district in which Gov. Palin made an early endorsement:
Kirkpatrick trails her Republican opponent by seven points, receiving 39 percent of the vote to Gosar’s 46, according to The Hill/ANGA poll. Twelve percent of likely voters remain undecided.
Gosar is a favorite of the Tea Party and was backed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during the Republican primary.
Colorado-4 - Rep. Betsy Markey (D) vs. Cory Gardner (R)
Markey is behind in this Republican-leaning district by a mere three points — 44 percent to 41, with 14 percent of likely voters undecided, according to The Hill/ANGA poll.
It’s welcome news for Markey given that Republicans have trumpeted internal polling that has her down big.
But she may have difficulty finding new voters to win over. She has 89 percent of the Democrats’ support and is winning independents at 43 percent to Gardner’s 39. She even has a decent amount of Republican support, at 11 percent.
Ohio-16 - Rep. John Boccieri (D) vs. Jim Renacci (R)
Boccieri trails his Republican challenger by just three points — 42 percent to 39 — with 15 percent of likely voters undecided, according to The Hill/ANGA poll.
But dissatisfaction with Congress in this district is high, particularly among independents. Eighty-five percent of independents strongly disapprove of the job Congress is doing.
Even though the race is close, the remaining undecided voters are largely Republican and independent, making it tough for Boccieri to make up much ground. Just 14 percent of remaining undecided voters are Democrats, while 33 percent are Republican and 41 percent independent.
An unusual dynamic in the district is that women, who tend to break for Democrats in general, tend to break for the Republican here; Renacci gets 45 percent of the female vote to Boccieri’s 36.
Pennsylvania-3 - Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D) vs. Mike Kelly (R)
Dahlkemper trails Kelly by double digits, but there’s a large group of undecided voters who haven’t made up their minds about either candidate.
Kelly is ahead by 13 points — 49 percent to 36 — while 15 percent of likely voters are undecided.
Dahlkemper’s biggest obstacle could be the fact that a majority of her constituents favor repealing the healthcare reform bill, which Dahlkemper supported. Almost 60 percent said they believe the legislation should be repealed.
Undecided voters feel this way by a margin of 45 percent to 33
Virginia-5 - Rep. Tom Perriello (D) vs. Robert Hurt (R)
The Hill/ANGA poll found that Perriello trails Hurt by a single point — 44 percent to 45 — with 9 percent of likely voters undecided.
Perriello still has time to turn it around, but he’ll have to do it with two key groups — women and independents. These groups remain the largest bloc of undecided voters, with 11 percent of women and 13 percent of independents undecided.
Voter enthusiasm could present a problem for Perriello: 80 percent of Republicans say they are “very passionate” about voting, while only 68 percent of Democrats describe themselves that way.
President Obama could be an albatross for his fellow Democrat this cycle. A majority of voters (54 percent) disapprove of the president’s performance and, by a 3-to-1 ratio, respondents said their opinion of Obama will influence their vote this November.
Illinois-11 - Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D) vs. Adam Kinzinger (R)h/t: Warner Todd Huston
Right now, the outlook for Halvorson appears grim. The Hill/ANGA poll found she trails Kinzinger by 18 points — 49 percent to 31. Another 18 percent of likely voters remain undecided.
Kinzinger also leads among most major demographic groups. He’s ahead by 26 points among male voters and by 11 percent among females, and leads in all age groups by 10 points or more. Kinzinger also holds a wide lead with independent voters — 53 percent to 24.
Undecided voters lean toward the right; 27 percent described themselves as Republicans compared to 16 percent who said they are Democrats.