Dem polls show House GOP incumbents vulnerable


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The polling, conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for progressive group MoveOn.org, shows a generic Democratic candidate leading Republican Reps. Ed Royce (Calif.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Scott Tipton (Colo.), John Mica (Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), Justin Amash (Mich.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Steve Stivers (Ohio), Jim Renacci (Ohio), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Robert Hurt (Va.) and Tom Petri (Wisc.), prior to respondents receiving any information about the shutdown.

And six GOP incumbents — Reps. Dave Camp (Mich.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Michael Turner (Ohio), Rob Wittman (Va.) and Reid Ribble (Wisc.) — all take a hit when respondents are told they supported a shutdown, with a generic Democrat either leading or tying each one.

Democrats only need to pick up 17 seats to take back the majority, and previous PPP polling has shown a similar result for the party, prompting speculation that if the 2014 elections were held today, Democrats would take back the House.

And a new CNN-ORC survey released Monday showed a majority of Americans, 54 percent, opposing Republican control of the House.

Still, Democrats aren't yet contesting and don't have contenders in most of those districts. The real concern for Republicans lies in the overall opposition to the shutdown, and the fact that backlash is significant enough that it appears to be hurting even lawmakers considered safe.

But the polling memo itself, written by PPP's Jim Williams, issues a warning even as it strikes an optimistic tone:

"A new round of post-shutdown polling shows that Democrats not only have an opportunity to take back the House of Representatives next year, but that they could win a sizable majority if," Williams writes, "voter anger over the shutdown carries into 2014."

Republicans note that it's still more than a year out from Election Day, and problems with ObamaCare could overshadow the shutdown and minimize any damage the party has suffered thus far.

Sample sizes for PPP's new surveys were between 600-1,000 voters per district, and the surveys were conducted Oct. 15-18.