Saturday, May 05, 2018

District Polling Is Way More Predictive Than Nationwide Polling: PA-07


Every time there's some bump up or down in the polls I have half a dozen nervous campaign managers who call me to talk about what it means. It means nothing. No, I assure them, the wave is not cancelled. I suggest they check out the special election swings; those swings are far more predictive of what to expect in November than any polling. But if you want polling, look at local polling not national polling.

Yesterday Muhlenberg College's Institute of public opinion released an April/May survey for the newly redrawn 7th district, the old Lehigh County district with Northampton and southern Monroe County. The district starts north of the Delaware Water Gap and Stroudsburg, where I once lived, and goes south and west to Kunkletown and south to Nazareth, Easton, Bethlehem, Allentown to send south of Zionsville and Hosensack and as far west as New Tripoli. Most of it was Charlie Dent's district, (PA-15) when had a moderate Republican lean (R+4) and now has a slight Democratic lean (D+1).

The incumbent, Charlie Dent, announced he's retiring and the end of the current term and there are 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans running campaigns for the seat that are financially competitive. These numbers are as of the March 31 FEC reporting deadline:
Greg Edwards (D)- $326,369
Marty Nothstein (R)- $304,920
Susan Wild (D)- $286,227
John Morganelli (D)- $233,570
Dean Browning (R)- $203,550
Greg Edwards and Susan Wild are both progressives. John Morganelli is virtually a Republican (anti-Choice, anti-immigrant, etc) but for some reason running as a Democrat. The only elected official is Marty Nothstein, a Lehigh County commissioner. Now for the findings. 53% of registered voters in the newly redrawn district disapprove of the job Trump is doing and only 39% approve. Governor Tom Wolf, who will be on the ballot in November, has a 41-32% job approve rating. Independent voters say they disapprove of Trump 57-35% and say-- by a margin of 35-24%--that they plan to vote for a Democrat in November.

Under the new boundaries Hillary would have won by about a point-- 48.7% to 47.6%. So, quite a bit of buyers' remorse. Dangerous for the GOP: An enthusiasm gap has emerged among voters with 64% of Democrats "very interested" in the midterms, to just 53% of Republicans. A generic congressional ballot gives the Democrats an 11% lead-- 46% to 35%.

Generally, voters aren't familiar with the candidates but head to head matchup between Edwards, Wild and Morganelli show that each one of them would beat either Dean Browning or Marty Nothstein, based almost entirely on party affiliation. Wait 'til people start finding out that Bernie has endorsed Edwards appeared with him this afternoon at the Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown. Bernie:
"For the past 25 years, Greg Edwards has worked tirelessly to organize for justice in health care, education and economic dignity throughout the Lehigh Valley. From his work in the nonprofit sector, to his practice of nonviolent direct action, Greg is a proven progressive leader who has had the courage to speak out and fight for those left behind. The powerful grassroots movement behind Greg Edwards is championing Medicare for All, universal pre-k, debt free college and raising the minimum wage, and he is living his values of unwavering inclusion by building the diverse coalition Democrats need to win in his district."
Edwards was also endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the biggest Democratic caucus in Congress. People sometimes note that there's a long time between now and the election and that Trump could turn it all around by then. There is a long time between now and then but the likelihood is that Trump will make his party's situation worse, not better. According to an analysis by CNBC's John Harwood, most voters have become numb to each new Trump scandal because they don’t believe what he says anyway and that "most Americans have considered Trump dishonest throughout his time in office. They judge his character indecent. But that no longer drives change in their judgments of his presidency... It will take blockbuster information to shift their assessments of Trump" which are overwhelmingly negative, especially in swing suburban districts like PA-07.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home