|Poll||Date||Sample||Amash (R)||Pestka (D)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||52.6||44.2||Amash +8.4|
|Glengariff Group (R)||10/17 - 10/18||400 LV||34||35||Pestka +1|
Western Michigan has long been a Republican stronghold, and little has changed in the past few years. The Grand Rapids-based 3rd District -- a lineal descendent of the district represented in Congress by Gerald Ford -- continues to have a strong Republican tilt, having elected only one Democrat in the past 100 years (and that was for a single term).
But the current occupant of the seat, Justin Amash, may be too conservative even for the 3rd. As a young, brash member of the Michigan House of Representative, he carved out a reputation as a staunch conservative. In the House, he's drawn comparisons to Ron Paul.
His opponent this time is former Judge Steve Pestka, who is attempting to run a race based on local issues and portraying Amash as an extremist. The problem is that this district is still fairly conservative at its core, and is probably more receptive to a candidate like Amash than even a moderate Democrat. In a bad GOP year, Amash would probably be vulnerable, but right now 2012 is looking like a neutral environment.