Trouble for house dems in the west

The American Action Forum (AAF) has followed up its polling of likely voters in nine key congressional districts in the Midwest with similar polling of 10 such districts in the West. The districts include three in Arizona, two each in California and Colorado, and one in New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon. As with its Midwest poll, all of the districts are currently held by Democrats.
The broad findings are similar to the findings for the Midwest, and ominous for the Democrats. By a margin of almost 3-1, respondents think the country is on the wrong track. By a margin of 53-39, they disapprove of the recently enacted health care law.
President Obama fares poorly among likely voters in the ten districts. 51 percent disapprove of his performance, while only 44 percent approve. Speaker Pelosi fares much worse. By more than a 2-1 ratio (59 percent to 28 percent), respondents disapprove of her performance.
On the issue that counts the most right now — demoting Pelosi — by a 41-34 margin likely voters in these districts plan to vote for the Republican candidate in their district. Republicans lead Democrats in five of these Democratic-held districts (AZ-1, AZ-5, CO-3, CO-4, and NV-3), with one district a deadheat (CA-11). In two of the remaining four districts, the Republican is within two or fewer points of the Dem (AZ-8 and CA-47).
Finally, let’s see what’s up in the four districts that Larry Sabato, in his recently-revised House analysis, rates “leans Democratic.” In two of them, the Republican is ahead. In AZ-5, the incumbent Dem, Henry Mitchell, trails his opponent David Schwikert by a 45-42 margin and in CO-3, the incumbent Dem, John Salazar, trails Republican Scott Tipton by 48-42.
In one of the “likely Democratic” districts, incumbent Gabrielle Giffords is only one point ahead of her challenger, Jesse Kelly (45-44). In the other, CA-11, Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney is tied 41-41 with his challenger, David Harmer.
So, if AAF’s polling is reliable, all four of these races can be viewed as no better than a toss-up, from the Democratic point of view. To help oust the frivolous Rep. Giffords by contributing to Jesse Kelly’s campaign, go here.
UPDATE: AAF also asked how likely voters view the Democratic incumbent Senator running for re-election in their state. The results weren’t pretty for Barbara Boxer. Voters in the two California districts polled — which, remember, have Democratic incumbents in the House, both of whom are running neck-and-neck with their challenger — disapprove of Boxer’s performance by a margin of 56-34. Carly Fiorina’s “favorables” significantly exceed her “unfavorables” in both districts, though many voters haven’t yet formed an opinion. These findings were among the most striking in the entire report for me.
In Colorado, the Democratic incumbent, Michael Bennet, has a break-even approval rating, which he is cultivating by denouncing the federal debt and Washington generally. However, Bennet’s approval rating does not exceed 40 percent in either district. Meanwhile, challenger Ken Buck is viewed more favorably than unfavorably.
In Nevada’s Third District, Harry Reid has an upside down approval rating of 42-54. But Republican Sharron Angle does even worse (35-50). Have Republcans, and conservatives, shot themselves in the foot by nominating Angle?


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