District by district - Texas

TEXAS-17

Rep. Edwards down 12 points

Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas) trails Republican Bill Flores 40 percent to 52 in The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll, with 7 percent of likely voters undecided.

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Flores is winning independents by 11 points, plus he’s winning men by 18 points and women by eight points. Middle-aged and older voters are also going for the Republican, while Edwards leads among younger voters.

Edwards’s unfavorable ratings are higher than his favorable, 49 percent versus 45 percent, while 56 percent of voters give Flores high marks.

This district has been trending Republican since the redistricting process. Former President George W. Bush’s Crawford ranch is in Texas’s 17th, and Edwards, a 10-term incumbent, has been a target since the lines of the district were redrawn.

In 2006, he won by 18 points, but the 2008 race was closer and he won with 53 percent.

Edwards is a more centrist member of the caucus, but he’s also a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who suggested President Obama put him on the vice presidential shortlist in 2008. Obama did so but ultimately picked then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware. Pelosi also helped Edwards secure a coveted seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Republicans have made much of his ties to the Speaker, but Edwards has not committed to voting for her in the next Congress. Instead, Edwards has tried to distance himself with a campaign ad that said: “When President Obama and Nancy Pelosi pressured Chet Edwards, Chet stood up to them and voted no against their trillion-dollar healthcare bill and no to cap-and-trade.” The poll found 48 percent of voters said his years in Washington were a reason to vote against him.

Flores has made some missteps in the campaign’s closing week, having to explain a comment where he seemed to indicate a willingness to raise the Social Security retirement age. He said he had a headache and misspoke. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried this district in 2008 and has cut an ad for Flores.

Republicans have outspent Democrats here. The DCCC has spent about $58,000, while the NRCC has spent about $505,000.

The Hill poll was conducted Oct. 19-21 by Penn Schoen Berland. The survey consisted of 404 phone interviews among likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

The Hill 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 4

- Looming anti-Obama midterm vote may not carry through to 2012
- Likely voters throw a wrench into GOP budget plans
- This campaign is the nastiest, voters say
- Blowout: 50 or more Dem seats set to fall
- Endangered species: Longterm incumbents
- GOP tsunami ready to sweep the South
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- Data: The numbers the stories are based on
- Editorial: Dems in deep danger

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The Hill 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 3

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- Only 1-in-4 see American Dream as still there for all
- Voters are not worried about ‘extreme’ label on candidates
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The Hill 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 2

- Voters more likely to see Dems as dominated by extremists
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- Democrats have edge on question of extending Bush tax cuts
- Republicans are up in 8 of 10 open House seats
- After forty Dem years, Obey’s seat in jeopardy
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The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 1

- Voters: Nancy Pelosi did not drain swamp
- Tea Party is firing up the Democrats
- Republican voters more ‘passionate’ about voting in the midterm election
- About the poll
- GOP leads widely, Dems in danger but races tight
- Feelings about Obama make midterms a national election
- Independents prefer divided government, lean Republican
- Distaste for healthcare law crosses party lines
- Editorial: Knowing who will win

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