The Hill: Poll: Independents prefer divided government and are leaning Republican

The Hill: Poll: Independents prefer divided government and are leaning Republican
October 6, 2010

Independent voters are trending toward Republican candidates in toss-up districts, with a majority of them saying they want divided government rather than one-party control.

The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll found that 51 percent of self-described independents prefer the president and Congress to come from different parties.

In the survey, of likely voters in 12 toss-up House districts held by first-term Democrats who arrived in Washington with President Obama, 43 percent of independents said they would vote for the Republican in their district, compared to 34 percent who said they would vote for the Democrat.

“In these districts they’re trending Republican,” said pollster Mark Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the poll. “You have to be a little bit careful in that this is a particularly volatile set of districts, but there’s no question that the independents are largely coming to the side of the Republican Party and are extremely dissatisfied with Congress.”

Throughout this cycle, congressional Republicans have stressed the need for “a check and balance” on the Obama administration. The poll indicates that message is working.

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The Hill: Poll: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal

The Hill: Poll: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal
October 6, 2010

Healthcare reform is hurting the reelection chances of freshman Democrats in the House, according to The Hill/ANGA poll.

A majority of voters in key battleground districts favor repeal of the legislative overhaul Congress passed this year.

President Obama predicted in the spring that the new law would become popular as people learned more about it. But the poll shows Republicans strongly oppose it, independents are wary of it and a surprising number of Democrats also want it overturned.

Republicans have vowed to repeal the law if they take control of Congress, and the findings of Mark Penn, who led Penn Schoen Berland’s polling team, show that healthcare is a major issue for voters this year.

When asked if they wanted the legislation repealed, 56 percent of voters in the surveyed districts said yes. “Only Democrats were opposed to repeal (23 percent to 64 percent),” Penn said. “Undecided voters wanted the healthcare law repealed by 49 percent to 27 percent.”

In each district, a majority of those surveyed said they want the controversial law gone.

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The Hill: Poll: Opinions of Obama will be on voters minds when they decide on Nov. 2

The Hill: Poll: Opinions of Obama will be on voters minds when they decide on Nov. 2
October 6, 2010

Two-thirds of voters in key battleground districts will be thinking about President Obama when they choose their next member of Congress, according to a 2010 midterm election poll from The Hill and ANGA.

The poll surveyed likely voters in 12 competitive congressional districts held by first-term Democratic lawmakers who came into office with the president in 2008.

Of the voters surveyed, 69 percent said their feelings about Obama will be an important consideration when they vote in congressional elections, while 28 percent said the president would not be a factor.

“All politics is local, but not all voting,” said pollster Mark Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the poll.

“I think, without question, people view this as a national election,” Penn said. “The strongest thing working against the administration today is the number of people dissatisfied with the economy and the government and who are willing to take their votes and vote on a national basis rather than on the merits of the individual candidate.”

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The Hill: Poll: GOP leads widely, Dems in danger but race for House tight

The Hill: Poll: GOP leads widely, Dems in danger but race for House tight
October 6, 2010

In a poll of 12 hotly contested races that could decide who controls the House in the 112th Congress, Republican challengers are beating freshman Democrats in 11 — and in the last one, the race is tied.

But The Hill/America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) poll also detected a glimmer of light for Democrats; not one of the 12 Republican challengers has reached 50 percent, and half of them have leads so small that they are within the margin of error.

The 12 districts this week are the first of 42 in The Hill/ANGA polls that will be conducted in the next four weeks. The first week’s focus is on freshmen, next week’s is on open seats, the following week’s is on two-term incumbents, and finally, in the week before the election, the polls will be in districts of long-term incumbents thought to be in trouble.

“This is a particularly volatile set of districts,” said pollster Mark Penn. “Overall, we see a strong Republican trend in these districts, but given where these numbers are, the races haven’t broken yet.”

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