Another Week, Another Weak Set of Polls for House Democrats

The Hill is out with another set of House polls of likely voters from Penn Schoen Berland. This time, it is a poll of open seats, and, again, it is generally very bad news for Democrats.

The Hill Penn Schoen Berland (10/2-7)

Tennessee 8
D: Roy Herron, 37%
R: Stephen Fincher, 47%

Washington 3
D: Denny Heck, 40%
R: Jaime Herrera, 42%
Arkansas 1
D: Chad Causey, 34%
R: Rick Crawford, 46%
Wisconsin 7
D: Julie Lassa, 35%
R: Sean Duffy, 44%
Illinois 10
D: Dan Seals, 49%
R: Robert Dold, 37%
Hawaii 1
D: Colleen Hanabusa, 41%
R: Charles Djou, 45%
Pennsylvania 7
D: Bryan Lentz, 39%
R: Patrick Meehan, 40%
New Hampshire 2
D: Ann Kuster, 42%
R: Charlie Bass, 45%
Michigan 1
D: Gary McDowell, 39%
R: Dan Benishek, 42%
West Virginia 1
D: Mike Oliverio, 42%
R: David McKinley, 39%

The only truly good news for Democrats is that they have a small lead in WV-3, and it looks like they will finally take Mark Kirk’s seat in IL-10.

It is pretty remarkable that Democrat Collen Hanabusa is trailing in Hawaii’s 1st district. It is an extremely Democratic-leaning district and the party is counting on picking up this seat to make up for what are assured to be losses elsewhere.

One slightly positive note for Democrats is that although the Republican nominees lead in three races Cook Political Report as rated lean GOP–MI-07, WA-03 and PA-07–the Republican’s lead is very small and within the poll’s margin of error. If the GOP’s self-reported enthusiasm is slightly skewing the likely voter model, or the national mood improves for Democrats in the next three weeks, then there is a possibility Democrats hold onto these seats.

What all of this does show is that there are a large number of extremely close House races. If the national political picture for Democrats shifts slightly, it may make the difference between narrowly losing in a dozen races or narrowly winning. Of course, the problem is that with the economy stalled and the party floundering for a working campaign message, there doesn’t appear to be an October game changer available to Democrats.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at