NPR poll: Dem incumbents unloved in battleground House races

Results of a poll commissioned by NPR to analyze 60 House districts that elected Democrats and 10 districts that elected Republicans in 2008 look troubling for the majority party as midterm election season approaches. For Coloradans that means battleground Congressional District Four, where Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey face Republican state Rep. Cory Gardner in what already appears to be the tightest race in the state.

In Democratic-held districts, just 34 percent of respondents to the NPR-commissioned survey said they would vote to re-elect their representative, while 46 percent said they would vote for someone else. In Republican-held districts, however, 49 percent said they would re-elect their representative while 37 percent said they would vote for someone else.

When read a pair of statements about whether they won’t vote for their representative because Washington needed “new people who will fix Washington and get things done” or will vote for their representative because “[he or she] is doing a good job,” 56 percent of voters in Democratic districts agreed with the first statement, whereas 39 percent of voters in GOP districts agreed with it.

When asked whether they would vote Democratic or Republican, in Democratic districts voters said they would vote GOP 47-42 percent, and in GOP districts went 53-37 in favor of the GOP.

Polling expert Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com commented on the poll, saying it was within the margin of error of generic ballot polling. He continued:

Broadly speaking, this poll is consistent with the impression I have had of the House picture for almost a year now, which is that the over/under on the number of net Democratic losses is about 40 seats (i.e. they have about even odds of losing the House), with a 90 percent confidence interval of about +/- 20 seats.

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