Rep. Ron Klein trails in GOP poll

Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) trails top GOP recruit Allen West in a rematch of their 2008 race, according to a poll done for West's campaign.

The Wilson Research Strategies poll shows West ahead 44-42 despite being known to less than half of voters. It was conducted last week on Sunday and Monday.

Klein joins a long line of Democratic incumbents who have trailed in some early polling on their races. Much of the polls have been from GOP sources, but the surveys are still notable, especially when Democrats have shown little polling ammo with which to fight back.

Klein doesn't have particularly bad numbers -- 43 percent favorable, compated to 31 percent unfavorable -- but appears to be suffering from a poor environment. Just 21 percent of voters say they will definitely vote to reelect him.

Klein defeated West 55-45 in 2008.

Update 2:17 p.m.: Klein spokeswoman Sarah Rothschild responds: “While Allen West is focused on a poll for the November election, Congressman Ron Klein is working every day to stimulate the economy and on bipartisan solutions that will protect Florida homeowners, crack down on Medicare fraud and impose tougher sanctions on the rogue regime in Iran.”


Lowden builds double-digit lead in race to face Reid

Sue Lowden continues to hold a double-digit lead in the Nevada GOP Senate primary, according to a new poll.

The Nevada News Bureau poll, which was conducted by PMI Inc., is the first in the race not conducted by Mason-Dixon, but it shows a similar result to recent Mason-Dixon polling.

Lowden, the former state GOP chairwoman, leads businessman Danny Tarkanian 41-24. Former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle is in third, at 17 percent. No other names were tested.

A Mason-Dixon poll from earlier this month had Lowden ahead of Tarkanian 45-27 with Angle at 5 percent.


Mollohan primary foe leads incumbent in own poll

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) is in serious trouble in his primary, according to a new poll released by state Sen. Mike Oliverio.

The poll, which was conducted by in-state pollster Orion Strategies, shows Oliverio surging to an eight-point lead on the incumbent, 41-33. A couple months ago, Mollohan led 41-31.

Oliverio raised $220,000 in the first quarter -- his first in the race -- and had $140,000 cash on hand. Mollohan, meanwhile, raised $360,000 and had $280,000 in the bank.

Mollohan faces difficult in both the primary and general election, with both Oliverio and the Republicans hoping to take advantage of his relatively meager bankroll (by incumbent standards) and some ethical troubles. 

Republicans including former state Del. David McKinley and businessman Mac Warner are fighting for their party's nomination in the conservative district, which went 57 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.


Polls show Campbell emerging as frontrunner in Calif. GOP Senate primary

Another new poll shows former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) opening up a lead in the state's GOP Senate primary.

The SurveyUSA poll has Campbell leading businesswoman Carly Fiorina 34-27. The margin is a little smaller than the 31-17 difference in a recent bipartisan poll, but the lesson is the same -- that Campbell has asserted himself as the frontrunner with a month and a half to go in their June 8 primary.

Of course, plenty will happen in the last month and a half. Campbell is taking some heat from third-party groups who don't think he's conservative enough, and Fiorina has personal money that she can use to outspend him down the stretch. She had $2.8 million in the bank, while he had $1.1 million.

State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is the 'x' factor here. He is in the mid-single digits in the polls and doesn't have as much money (about $400,000 at the end of March). But he has used his grassroots following to effectively team up with Campbell to take on Fiorina. If he keeps going after her and ignoring the man leading in the polls, that could allow Campbell to build an even bigger lead.

The lingering rancor between DeVore and Fiorina has been remarkable, considering Campbell's ascendance. Even as the Fiorina campaign commented on the polls yesterday, it's statement addressed DeVore before Campbell.

“These numbers are not good news for Chuck DeVore, and it makes one wonder how he and his campaign will be celebrating Back To Earth Day this afternoon after their premature and unwarranted rooftop singing this morning," Fiorina said. "And though Tom Campbell has earned high name identification by being a perennial office seeker, once Californians learn about his decades-long record of support for higher taxes and more government regulation, voters will turn to support a true fiscal conservative and political outsider: Carly Fiorina.”


Former Rep. Pombo trails in attempt to return to Congress

Former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is currently in third place in the GOP primary in retiring Rep. George Radanovich's (R-Calif.) district, according to a new poll.

The SurveyUSA poll shows state Sen. Jeff Denham and former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson in a statistical tie -- 27 percent for Denham and 26 percent for Patterson -- while Pombo takes 16 percent of the vote.

There is about a month and a half to go in the primary, so there is still time for Pombo.

The former congressman won the fundraising battle in the first quarter, raising $465,000 while Denham raised $342,000. Denham banked more money, though, thanks to a $150,000 contribution to his own campaign.

Patterson raised just $85,000 for the quarter.


Dissatisfaction with Dems buoys Republican in Murtha special election

Republicans bring a small lead into the final month of the contest for the late Rep. John Murtha's (D-Pa.) seat, according to a Public Policy Polling survey.

The Democratic-leaning pollster found businessman Tim Burns (R) leading former Murtha aide Mark Critz (D) 44-41, thanks to an electorate that is upset with the recently passed healthcare bill, President Obama and the Democratic leadership.

Obama's is approved by 33 percent of voters and disapproved by 57 percent. Slightly less (28 percent) approve of the healthcare bill, and less than a quarter (24 percent) approve of Gov. Ed Rendell (D).

Burns uses those advantages to build a 51-31 lead among independents and grab twice as much crossover support as Critz.

Though the district is heavily Democratic, it's clear that it's a different brand of Democrat than exists elsewhere. Less than half -- 43 percent -- of them approve of the healthcare bill, and just 50 percent approve of Obama.

A GOP poll obtained by The Fix on Tuesday also showed a statistical tie in the race, with Critz maintaining a 40-39 lead.


Healthcare bill very unpopular in Murtha's district

If Republican Tim Burns can win the special election to replace Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), we may be talking about it as a repudiation of the healthcare bill.

It turns out the bill is tremendously unpopular in the district. That is, according to a sneak peek of a poll that is set to be released tomorrow by Public Policy Polling (D):

Some Democrats may not be thrilled Mark Critz is emphasizing his opposition to the health care bill as he seeks to replace John Murtha in the House, but after polling the district it's hard to see that as anything but necessary for survival. Only 28% of voters in the district express support for it with 59% opposed. Even Democrats there support it by just a 43/39 margin.

Obama's overall approval rating in the district is 33%, with 57% of voters disapproving of him. It's hard to imagine any Democrat winning an open seat this year where the President is that unpopular but it's still a close race. We'll have the full numbers out tomorrow.


Financial regulatory reform can help Dems with 'angry' seniors

Pushing financial regulatory reform can help Democrats win over "angry" seniors and close the enthusiasm gap with the GOP, according to Celinda Lake, one of the party's leading pollsters.

"Seniors are a problem," Lake said at a Wednesday breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. "Seniors really dislike the healthcare plan. They're very Republican right now."

President Barack Obama lost seniors to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 9 points in 2008 but the group now prefers the GOP over Democrats by double-digits, Lake noted.

"We can’t have seniors as angry as they are right now," she said. "A major task [for Democrats] is to sell the healthcare plan to seniors."

She said that winning seniors over to the benefits of healthcare reform should be the Obama administration's top priority. "I think they need to get [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and the whole cabinet on the road selling the healthcare reform package," she said.