Illinois targets feeling the Independent heat

Three swing districts in President Obama’s home state are mirroring the rest of the Midwest in Independents’ reaction to the passage of his health care reform package–results that will undoubtedly whet the appetites of their challengers. Although some opponents feel they now have the trifecta of issues for the fall (Card Check, Cap & Trade, Health Care Reforms), it remains to be seen whether the electorate will maintain its initial reaction to Obama’s reforms.

Illinois 8

Democrat Melissa Bean has been a target for the GOP ever since she replaced the beleaguered Republican Phil Crane in 2005. The District voted 55% for Bush in 2000 and 2004, but embraced Obama with 56% of the vote in 2008. Illinois 8 covers a number of northern suburbs of Chicago in suburban Cook, McHenry and Lake counties. For the most part, Bean’s voting record has reflected the political makeup of her district which has a Cook PVI of +1 R. Bean’s opponents are the GOP’s Joe Walsh and the Green Party’s Bill Sheurer.

On 3/24/2010, we asked 1,300+ voters in Illinois 8:

Your member of Congress, Melissa Bean, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support her for re-election?

Here are the results:

Illinois 8: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL39.98%52.91%7.11%
GENDER
Female39.9452.247.81
Male40.2555.813.94
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat70.0524.625.33
Republican13.7581.504.75
Independent/Other37.3854.767.86
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,308
Margin of Error: ±2.71%

 

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Illinois 11

Democrat Debbie Halvorson is completing her first term as a member of Congress after winning the open seat in a battle against Republican concrete king Marty Ozinga. The district has a Cook PVI of +1 R, and supported Bush in 2000 and 2004, but swung to Obama in 2008. The district was previously represented by Republican Jerry Weller–who retired after a facing scandal-sheet style murmurings involving his wife (the daughter of a former Guatemalan dictator) and Nicaraguan property he owned but failed to disclose in federal filings. You gotta love Illinois! Her opponent in the fall is Republican Adam Kinzinger.

The district covers conservative blue-collar voters around Joliet and Kankakee, and swings down to cover parts of the corn belt in McLean County.

On 3/24/2010, we asked 1,300+ voters in Illinois 11:

Your member of Congress, Debbie Halvorson, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support her for re-election?

Here are the results:

Illinois 11: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL33.04%59.17%7.80%
GENDER
Female32.6659.178.17
Male34.2361.074.70
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat64.9126.578.52
Republican9.0387.103.87
Independent/Other30.3661.997.65
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,347
Margin of Error: ±2.67%

 

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Illinois 14

This is the district that was represented by former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R), but for the first time since 1939 has a Democrat congressman: Bill Foster. Foster, a physicist,  won the race in a special election in March of 2008 against Republican Illinois milk magnate Jim Oberweis. Like the previous two districts, Illinois 14 has a Cook PVI of +1R, and covers a wide swath of Illinois including Whiteside, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, DuPage and Bureau counties. His opponents in the fall are Republican State Senator Randy Hultgren (who beat Dennis Hastert’s son, Ethan, in the primary) and the Green Party’s Daniel Kairis.

The district has a growing number of Hispanic voters (nearly 20%), and…like the other two districts…backed Bush in both of his elections but reversed course and voted for Obama in ’08.

On 3/24/2010, we asked 1,300+ voters in Illinois 11:

Your congressman, Bill Foster, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support him for re-election?

Here are the results:

Illinois 14: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL37.13%55.36%7.51%
GENDER
Female39.97%51.67%8.36%
Male33.39%61.49%5.12%
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat67.22%23.75%9.03%
Republican9.68%85.36%4.95%
Independent/Other35.62%57.53%6.85%
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,371
Margin of Error: ±2.64%

Health care and bratwurst in Wisconsin

 

A trip to Milwaukee for NCAA basketball and an incredible meal at Karl Ratzsch’s restaurant the day Congress passed the President’s health-care reforms made us curious about the aftereffect on two potential targets: Wisconsin’s Dave Obey (D-7) and Steve Kagen (D-8).

David Obey (left) represents the northwest  portion of Wisconsin–the land of lumberjacks, muskies and sky-blue waters. Best known for being the home area of former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, the district has continued to trend Democratic in recent years. John Kerry earned 51% of the vote in 2004, and Barack Obama made a stronger 56% showing in 2008.

Last night (3/24/10), we asked 1,700+ voters in Obey’s district this question:

Your congressman, David Obey, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support him for re-election?

Here are the responses:

Wisconsin 7: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL38.61.%53.49%7.89%
GENDER
Female40.42%51.01%8.57%
Male35.89%59.43%4.68%
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat71.05%22.02%6.93%
Republican11.83%85.06%3.11%
Independent/Other30.93%60.39%8.67%
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,731
Margin of Error: ±2.33%

 

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Congressman Steve Kagen is a physician (and he sure wants you to know it…check out his website). The district itself includes Green Bay and vacation destination Door County, and has exhibited a decidedly independent spirit in elections. Bush pulled 55% of the district in 2004, but Obama scored nearly 54% in 2008. Kagen…er…DR. Kagen replaced Republican Mark Green who left office to run for governor.

How did the independent-minded voters of WI-8 respond to the following?

Your congressman, Steve Kagen, voted in favor of the president’s health-care package last Sunday. Does that make you more likely, or less likely to support him for re-election?

Here are the results from 1,600+ district voters:

Wisconsin 8: Reaction to Health Care Package

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL37.19%56.38%6.43%
GENDER
Female39.04%53.94%7.02%
Male34.14%61.45%4.41%
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat67.19%26.56%6.25%
Republican12.10%83.73%4.17%
Independent/Other32.59%61.26%6.14%
Date of Poll: March 24, 2010
Number of responses: 1,643
Margin of Error: ±2.41%

 

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As we’ve seen throughout the nation, Independent voters will be the key to the re-election bid of these and other incumbents.

Yes. Yes. Yes…er…NO.

Thanks to subscriber Janice Lehman for suggesting that we poll Ohio congressional districts 1, 15 and 18 on voters’ opinions of the health care reform package votes of Members of Congress Mary Jo Kilroy (D-15),  Steve Driehaus (D-1) and Zack Space (D-18).

Congressman Space is a particularly interesting study since he originally voted in favor of the package, but is one of just a handful of Democrats who vote NO Sunday night.

Let’s begin with Mary Jo Kilroy. We asked 1,316 voters in the 15th District this question:

Your member of Congress, Mary Jo Kilroy, voted IN FAVOR of passage of the president’s health care reforms. Does that make you MORE LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to support her for re-election?

Here are the results:

Mary Jo Kilroy: Ohio 15

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL37.84%57.60%4.56%
GENDER
Female39.51%56.29%4.19%
Male35.73%61.06%3.21%
AFFILIATION
Democrat63.54%11.52%40.00%
Republican10.23%57.34%31.11%
Independent26.23%31.14%28.89%
Date of Poll: March 22, 2010
Participants: 1,316
Margin of Error: ±2.70%

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Here are the results for Steve Driehaus (Ohio 1) from a similarly worded question as before:

Steve Driehaus: Ohio 1

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL34.63%61.2754.10%
GENDER
Female36.29%59.33%4.38%
Male31.86%65.08%3.07%
AFFILIATION
Democrat73.17%21.10%5.73%
Republican7.97%90.94%1.09%
Independent28.77%65.75%5.48%
Date of Poll: March 22, 2010
Participants: 1,513
Margin of Error: ±2.52%

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Finally, Ohio 18’s Zach Space originally voted in favor of health care reform in the first pass through the House, and then voted against it last Sunday. We asked 1,385 voters in his district this question:

Your congressman, Zack Space, voted IN FAVOR of passage of the president’s health care reforms when it first passed through the House, and then voted AGAINST the reforms last night. Does that make you MORE LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to support him for re-election?

Here are the results:

Zack Space: Ohio 18

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL49.46%38.77%11.77%
GENDER
Female51.38%37.02%11.59%
Male49.29%41.28%9.43%
AFFILIATION
Democrat32.66%57.27%10.07%
Republican63.78%26.59%9.63%
Independent54.13%33.33%12.54%
Date of Poll: March 22, 1010
Participants: 1,385
Margin of Error: ±2.63%

Stupak’s gambit

While some Michigan residents are focusing more on the health of the Spartan’s Kalin Lucas’ Achilles’ tendon, the voters in the First Congressional District still had time to consider the political moves of U.S. Representative Bart Stupak (D-Menominee). Stupak had been withholding his support for President Obama’s health-care reform package based on his opposition to public funding of abortions. Stupak switch to a positive vote after he received (among other considerations) a promise from President Obama to sign an executive order that would “reinforce that belief that we all stood on: no public health care funding for abortion.”

What do voters in Michigan’s 1st District think? We asked more than 2,000 voters to respond to this statement and question:

Your congressman, Bart Stupak, voted IN FAVOR of passage of the president’s health care reforms. Does that make you MORE LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to support him for re-election?

Here are the results:

Bart Stupak: Michigan 1

 More likelyLess likelyUndecided
OVERALL61.55%30.94%7.51%
GENDER
Female63.37%28.97%7.67%
Male60.25%34.03%5.72%
AFFILIATION
Democrat75.96%17.60%6.44%
Republican23.11%72.91%3.98%
Independent51.76%39.97%8.27%
Date of Poll: March 22, 2010
Participants: 2,385
Margin of Error: ±2.0%

Is there a gender gap in Health Care Reform?

Earlier today, a subscriber asked if any of our recent polling shows a significant gender difference in the opposition to President Obama’s health care reform package. Early this month, polling in some key Illinois congressional districts show a small, but consistent difference. (Thanks to the New Prosperity Foundation for allowing me to release this information.)

Gender Differences in OPPOSITION to Health Care Reforms

 WOMENMENDIFFERENCE
ILLINOIS 8 (Bean)47.63%56.74%9.11%
ILLINOIS 10 (Kirk)46.78%52.96%6.18%
ILLINOIS 11 (Halvorson)57.83%62.67%4.84%
ILLINOIS 14 (Foster)51.48%58.97%7.49%
ILLINOIS 17 (Hare)50.74%59.31%8.57%
Date of Polls: March 1, 2010
Responses: between 741-996
Margins of Error: average 3.25%

Illinois: an early compilation of key districts

We Ask America was commissioned to conduct head-to-head polls in key Illinois congressional districts  about two weeks following that state’s Primary Election. The top-lines results have now been released to us for public view, and we’re happy to oblige.

As with all of our polls, the participants were selected to match the demographics of the district we called, and were selected from our propriety database of likely voters. The margin of error for each is around ±3.40%.

We’ll be tracking these and other key races in other states as the fall elections approach…stay tuned!

Key Illinois Congressional Races - Compilation

ILLINOIS 8 
Sample size827
Democrat Melissa Bean37.61%
Green Party Bill Sheurer3.87%
Republican Joe Walsh38.33%
Unsure20.19%
ILLINOIS 10
Sample Size878
Republican Rober Dold37.36%
Green Party Richard Mayers2.39%
Democrat Dan Seals40.09%
ILLINOIS 11
Sample Size804
Democrat Debbie Halvorson30.22%
Republican Adam Kinzinger42.04%
Unsure26.99%
ILLINOIS 14
Sample Size817
Democrat Bill Foster36.47%
Republican Randy Hultgren37.82%
Green Party Daniel Kairis4.53%
Unsure21.18%
ILLINOIS 17
Sample Size1,056
Green Party Roger Davis3.88%
Democrat Phil Hare38.83%
Republican Bobby Schilling31.72%
Unsure25.57%
Polls conducted Feb. 18, 2010

Harbinger for the fall?

Thanks to subscriber Pat Garrett for suggesting that we poll Pennsylvania’s 12 Congressional District which faces a special election on May 18. Republican businessman Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz are vying for this seat that is open due to the death of John Murtha.

The 12th District was carefully drawn for Murtha (check out the district map HERE), but this poll is showing a tight race due to Independents’ early leaning toward the GOP’s Burns. The district is the only one in the nation that went for John Kerry in 2004 and then backed John McCain four years later.

Buckle your seat belts political fans…this is one to watch.

Pennsylvania: 12th Congressional District Special Election

 Republican Tim BurnsDemocrat Mark CritzUndecided
OVERALL34.73%38.83%26.45%
GENDER
Female32.08%38.66%29.26%
Male39.11%39.11%21.79%
POLITICAL AFFILIATION
Democrat13.37%58.85%27.79%
Republican72.91%10.34%16.75%
Independent/Other38.78%19.90%41.33%
Date of Poll: March 15, 2010
Participants: 1,365
Margin of Error: ±2.65%

IL Approve: 46.65% Disapprove: 49.54% Unsure: 3.81%

The Land of Lincoln may be home base for President Obama, but it joins other Midwestern states having slightly higher disapproval-over approval-ratings.

Illinois: President Obama Approve/Disapprove Poll

 ApproveDisapproveNo opinion
OVERALL46.65%49.54%3.81%
GENDER
Female56.04%39.64%4.33%
Male36.89%59.45%3.66%
POLITICAL AFFILIATION
Democrat81.70%15.69%2.61%
Republican13.15%83.10%3.76%
Independent/Other35.19%59.23%5.58%
AGE BRACKET
18-2450.00%38.89%11.11%
25-3458.14%34.88%6.98%
35-4446.36%51.82%1.82%
45-5444.08%52.63%3.29%
55-6450.00%48.39%1.61%
65+46.86%47.70%5.44%
Date of Poll: 3/10/2010
Participants: 834 registered voters
Margin of Error: ±3.39%


IA Approve: 43.10% Disapprove: 51.86% Unsure: 2.65%

Iowa may have provided Barack Obama with his first big campaign victory, but Iowans polled the second-highest disapproval of his job performance of the Midwestern states we surveyed.

Iowa: Obama Approve/Disapprove Poll

 ApproveDisapproveNo opinion
OVERALL43.10%51.86%5.04%
GENDER
Female49.04%45.70%5.26%
Male35.25%60.00%4.75%
POLITICAL AFFILIATION
Democrat74.59%20.70%4.71%
Republican12.30%85.08%2.62%
Independent/Other35.87%56.91%7.21%
AGE BRACKET
18-2447.62%42.86%9.52%
25-3441.49%56.38%2.13%
35-4428.57%66.67%4.76%
45-5443.28%53.78%2.94%
55-6444.44%51.75%3.81%
65+45.49%47.65%6.86%
Date of Poll: 3/10/2010
Participants: 1,369 registered voters
Margin of Error: ±2.65%

MI Approve: 46.25% Disapprove: 50.44% Unsure: 3.31%

Michigan has been hit hard by the world’s economic downturn, and the voters in that state are getting restless. With nearly 15% unemployment and continued woes in the auto industry, Michigan seems to be losing patience.

Michigan: President Obama Approve/Disapprove

 ApproveDisapproveNo opinion
OVERALL46.25%50.4453.31%
GENDER
Female50.34%44.75%4.92%
Male40.73%58.12%1.14%
POLITICAL AFFILIATION
Democrat73.74%23.34%2.92%
Republican13.92%83.15%2.93%
Independent/Other42.18%53.85%3.98%
AGE BRACKET
18-2442.86%54.29%2.86%
25-3446.77%48.39%4.84%
35-4438.17%54.20%7.63%
45-5445.96%52.02%2.02%
55-6451.11%47.56%1.33%
65+46.54%50.00%3.46%
Date of Poll: 3/10/2010
Participants: 1,027 registered voters
Margin of Error: ±3.06%