By The Hill Staff - 10/20/10 03:00 AM EDT
Democratic incumbent down by one
In this nail-biter of a race, Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) trails his Republican opponent, Reid Ribble, by one point, 44 percent to 45, with 10 percent of likely voters undecided, according to The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll.
leads by 14 points among females, while Ribble leads by 17 points among
males. Ribble is winning younger and middle-aged voters while Kagen
does well among older voters.
Voters seem divided on what to think of their congressman:
Forty-four percent approved, while 45 percent disapproved. Ribble gets
better ratings — 44 percent approval to 38 percent disapproval — though
12 percent said they’re not familiar with the GOP candidate.
Congress gets low marks: Sixty-nine percent disapprove of the
institution. And voters also give the president low marks: Only 43
percent approve of the job he’s doing, while 55 percent disapprove.
Meanwhile, 42 percent of voters said President Obama has brought
change to Washington “for the worse,” while only 27 percent said the
president brought change “for the better,” and 31 percent think nothing
has changed. Also, 36 percent said they “don’t know” a compelling
reason to vote for Democrats, while 26 percent said that of the GOP.
When Kagen won the seat in 2006, it was the most expensive
congressional race in Wisconsin history and was dominated by attack
ads. He won reelection in 2008 with 54 percent, becoming only the
second Democrat ever to win reelection in this district. No Democrat
has won a third term.
Democrats are spending to help Kagen. The DCCC has put about $65,232
in independent expenditures into this race, while the NRCC has spent
Kagen voted with Democrats on the economic stimulus bill, the
cap-and-trade bill and healthcare reform. Vice President Biden has
campaigned for him.
The Hill poll was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland Oct. 12-14. The survey consisted of 415 phone interviews among likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent.