Aug 31, 2012
67 Days: Democratic Challengers on Path to Victory
With 67 days to go until Election Day, Democrats have a wind at their backs and the Democratic playing field continues to expand as more top Democratic candidates are running strong campaigns and putting their races into play. House Democrats are going to reverse the Tea Party wave of 2010.
After this terrible August for House Republicans, it’s now clear that Republican incumbents and candidates all across the country are on defense and in danger of being defeated.
Yesterday, the DCCC added 4 more candidates to the Red to Blue program for top challengers, bringing us to a total of 50, a sign of the expanding battlefield for House Democrats — and of the tide turning against Republicans. There are now twice as many candidates in the Red-to-Blue program as seats needed for Democrats to win the Majority.
When Mitt Romney chose Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, he gave House Democrats the debate we’ve been wanting all election cycle. Now Republicans must run with Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s Medicare-ending budget that puts millionaires over seniors as their running mate. Polling makes crystal clear that this will be an anchor around the ankles of Republican incumbents and their wrong priorities will prove costly this November.
WITH WINDS BLOWING AGAINST REPUBLICANS THE TIDE IS TURNING. Democratic candidates are surging and have momentum entering the critical stretch of this campaign cycle. House Republican incumbents are vulnerable and on the ropes with the Medicare-ending Ryan budget as their ticket mate. These Democratic candidates will help reverse the Tea Party wave of 2010 and this much is clear: The tide is turning and some of the Republicans who got swept in last cycle are now on the verge of being washed away.
Democratic incumbents are in a fundamentally stronger position than Republican incumbents. Our recently released memo on that topic is here.
In the most vulnerable 27 House Republican-held districts, Democratic candidates have a 6-point lead (50 - 44 percent) with Democratic challengers reaching the critical 50-percent threshold, according to the latest Battleground Survey by Democracy Corps. This marks a five-point jump for Democrats who led by one point in this survey in March 2011.
Other recent polls show Democrats making significant gains and Republicans looking increasingly vulnerable:
- A new Public Policy Polling poll shows voters prefer Democrats to Congress rather than Republicans by 8 points (50 percent to 42 percent.) This same poll earlier this month showed Democrats leading by only 2 points (47%-45%).
- A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Democrats with a 5-point lead (47 percent to 42 percent) on the congressional generic ballot. Just a month ago, Democrats only had a 1-point lead.
THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE PROBLEM-SOLVERS. These Democratic candidates are focused on addressing the top priorities of the American people. They are businessmen and women, generals, prosecutors, doctors, and farmers. They are committed to strengthening the middle class and working to get practical solutions to the challenges our country faces. These candidates’ priorities offer a stark contrast to those of House Republicans who are protecting millionaires, Big Oil and companies that ship jobs overseas.
ON OFFENSE: STRONG POLLING FOR DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGERS. Polling shows that many Democratic candidates are tied or are leading their Republican opponents, and many more Democratic candidates are within range. This spells major trouble for Republican incumbents, who are failing to get to 50 percent or – even worse – getting beat by a challenger and already are unlikely to get re-elected.
Take a look for yourself at polling from around the country:
CA-07: Democrat Ami Bera is tied with Congressman Dan Lungren at 47%, and after positives Bera leads by five points (51-46%), according to a House Majority PAC poll. Obama leads Romney 52-44% in this same poll. [The Hill, 8/29/12]
CA-10: Congressman Jeff Denham is under 50% and Democrat Jose Hernandez trails him by just seven points (41-48%) with 12 percent of voters undecided, according to a recent PPP poll. Obama and Romney are tied at 47% in this same poll. [Public Policy Polling accessed 8/30/12]
CA-26: Democrat Julia Brownley leads Republican Tony Strickland by 4 points (48-44%) according to a recent poll by Tulchin Research. [Roll Call, 7/24/12]
CA-36: Democrat Raul Ruiz trails Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack by only two points (43-45%) with 12 percent of voters undecided, according to a recent PPP poll. Obama leads Romney 49% to 48% in this same poll. [Public Policy Polling accessed 8/30/12]
CA-41: Democrat Mark Takano leads Republican candidate John Tavaglione by 4 points (42-38%), according to a recent internal poll from the campaign. [Riverside Press Enterprise, 8/21/12]
CA-47: Democrat Alan Lowenthal leads Republican candidate Gary DeLong by 11 points (47-36%) according to a poll conducted by the DCCC. [The Orange County Register, 7/24/12]
CA-52: Democrat Scott Peters is tied with Congressman Brian Bilbray in two recent polls. A poll conducted for the DCCC shows the race tied at 45%, while an internal poll for the Peters campaign shows it tied at 40%. [The San Diego Union Tribune, 8/7/12]
CO-06: Democrat Joe Miklosi is trailing Congressman Mike Coffman by just 4 points (36-40%) according to a recent poll from Democracy for America. The same poll shows Obama leading Romney 52% to 43% in this district. [Fox 31, 8/16/12]
CT-05: Democrat Elizabeth Esty has a 9-point lead over Republican candidate Andrew Roraback (44-35%) and Esty’s lead increases to 15 points after positives are read on both candidates, according to a Global Strategy Group poll. [Roll Call, 8/28/12]
FL-16: Democrat Keith Fitzgerald trails Congressman Vern Buchanan by only 8 points (36-44%). [Public Policy Polling, 7/23/12]
FL-18: Democrat Patrick Murphy leads Congressman Allen West 47-46% according to a Grove Insight poll. [Palm Beach Post, 8/30/12]
FL-26: Democrat Joe Garcia leads Congressman David Rivera by 9 points (49-40%) according to an internal poll. [Saint Peters Blog, 8/30/12]
IL-08: Democrat Tammy Duckworth leads Congressman Joe Walsh by 9 points (50-41%), according to a recent PPP poll. [Talking Points Memo, 8/16/12]
IL-10: Democrat Brad Schneider and Republican Bob Dold are tied (46-46%) in an initial head to head but after positives on both, Schneider leads by 9 points (53%-42%), according to a recent House Majority PAC poll. [Roll Call, 8/16/12]
IL-13: Democrat David Gill leads Republican Rodney Davis by 6 points (36-30%) according to an internal poll from the campaign. [Politico, 8/9/12]
MD-06: Democrat John Delaney leads Congressman Roscoe Bartlett by 2 points (44-42%), according to a House Majority PAC and SEIU poll. [National Journal, 7/31/12]
MI-01: Democrat Gary McDowell trails Congressman Dan Benishek by only 2 points (38-40%), with 22 percent of voters undecided, according to a House Majority PAC poll. [Roll Call, 6/25/12]
MN-08: Democrat Rick Nolan leads Congressman Chip Cravaack by 3 points (47-44%), according to a House Majority PAC poll. [Hotline, 8/31/12]
NH-01: Democrat Carol Shea-Porter has a six-point lead over Congressman Frank Guinta (45-39%), according to a recent DCCC poll. [National Journal, 8/14/12]
NH-02: Democrat Annie Kuster leads Congressman Charlie Bass by 4 points (47-43%), according to a recent Democracy for America poll. [Democracy for America, 8/14/12]
NY-18: Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney starts within the margin of error (45-48%) against Congresswoman Nan Hayworth in a recent House Majority PAC poll and after positives Sean has a six-point lead (51%-45%). [Capital Tonight, 8/2/12]
NY-24: Democrat Dan Maffei leads Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle by 6 points (48-42%), according to a recent DCCC poll. [Syracuse Post Standard, 8/31/12]
SD-AL: Democrat Matt Varilek trails Congresswoman Kristi Noem by just 1 point (46-47%) with seven percent of voters undecided, according to a Nielson Brothers Polling poll. [The Daily Republic, 8/3/12]
TX-14: Democrat Nick Lampson leads Republican candidate Randy Weber by 4 points according to a recent poll from Lampson’s campaign. [The Burnt Orange Report, 8/23/12]
STRONG FUNDRAISING. Another important measure of Democratic candidates’ strength is their fundraising numbers. Recent fundraising reports showed that 17 Democratic challengers outraised or nearly outraised their Republican incumbents. A full list of the strong Democratic candidate fundraising is available here.
DEMOCRATIC MESSAGE WINS/RYAN BUDGET DRAGGING DOWN REPUBLICANS: The Democratic message is resonating with voters in Republican-leaning districts since Republicans chose to give us a national debate on the Medicare-ending Ryan budget.
Recent polls also show voters overwhelmingly oppose the Ryan budget that ends Medicare and stand with Democrats who will protect Medicare.
- A Washington Post/ABC poll shows registered voters oppose the Ryan budget by 33 points (64 percent to 31 percent) with 43 percent strongly opposing it.
- A Pew Research Center poll shows voters oppose the Ryan budget by a 15-point margin (49 percent to 34 percent), the margin grows to 31 points among seniors (55 percent to 24 percent).
A Washington Post Kaiser Family Foundation poll: 79 percent of registered voters oppose reducing Medicare benefits.