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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Michigan -- 09

MI 09: Peters (D) Leads

Two more Democratic polls have former Michigan Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters leading Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg. A poll for Peters' campaign conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 412 likely voters 10/6-7 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Knollenberg and Peters were tested, along with independent Jack Kevorkian, Green Party candidate Doug Campbell and Libertarian Adam Goodman.

General Election Matchup
Peters...........43
Knollenberg......40
Kevorkian........ 5
Goodman...........3
Campbell......... 2

A Grove Insight poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee surveyed 400 likely voters between 10/4-5 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Knollenberg, Peters and Kevorkian were tested.

General Election Matchup
Peters..........46
Knollenberg.....37
Kevorkian....... 2

We keep expecting a rebuttal poll from Knollenberg's campaign, but the silence so far is deafening.

MI 09: Peters (D) +4

Eight-term Republican Joe Knollenberg has another tough race to deal with this year, as state lottery commissioner Gary Peters is raising money and airing network TV ads in an effort to oust him. Knollenberg doesn't have the nearly eight-to-one spending advantage he enjoyed in 2006, when he defeated his Democratic opponent by just 6 points.

The survey, conducted by Grove-Insight for the DCCC, polled 400 likely voters. While the poll was released today, it was taken more than a month ago, between 8/17-19. Knollenberg and Peters were tested.

General Election Matchup
Peters.............41
Knollenberg....37

The Peters campaign says it's had ads up on cable TV since August 25, three weeks longer than Knollenberg, and now has enough resources to begin airing ads on network. In the last FEC report on July 15, Peters had $1.1 million compared to Knollenberg's $1.9 million. "We have all the resources we need to be up on network TV," said Clark Pettig, spokesman for the Peters campaign. "Things are looking good."

MI: Knollenberg, Walberg Lead

Two Michigan Republicans facing tough races lead their Democratic challengers according to a new poll, but in both cases, the incumbents are well under the crucial 50% mark, giving national GOP strategists another reason to worry.

The poll, conducted by Michigan-based EPIC-MRA for the Detroit News and four television stations, surveyed 400 likely voters in both the Seventh and Ninth Districts for margins of error of +/- 4.9%. The Seventh District poll, which tested Rep. Tim Walberg and State Senator Mark Schauer, was conducted 8/20-22. The Ninth District poll, which pitted Rep. Joe Knollenberg against former State Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters, independent candidate Jack Kevorkian (Yes, that Jack Kevorkian) and Libertarian Adam Goodman.

General Election Matchups
Walberg...........43
Schauer...........40

Knollenberg.......43
Peters............36
Goodman............5
Kevorkian..........4

Both incumbent Republicans have bad job approval ratings. Just 35% say they have a positive impression of Knollenberg's job performance, while 47% say they think of his performance in a negative light. Walberg gets a similarly anemic 32% positive to 43% negative rating.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $1.5 million in television airtime aimed at Walberg and $1.1 million targeting Knollenberg. If they drive down both incumbents' favorable numbers any further, Republicans may find themselves on the wrong end of the next poll.

MI Dems Take On Knollenberg

Nancy Skinner, the 2006 Democratic nominee in Michigan's 9th District, announced yesterday that she has ended her campaign for the seat, leaving state lottery commissioner Gary Peters with no major primary opposition in his quest to upset Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg. Democrats had faced an expensive and divisive primary campaign between the two candidates.

The DCCC failed to recognize this seat as a pick-up opportunity in 2006, and offered Skinner no financial help. Despite outspending Skinner $3.1 million to $400,000, Knollenberg won by just a 52%-46% margin. Coupling the 2006 results with the fact that President Bush failed to win more than 51% here in both 2000 and 2004 makes this seat a Democratic target in 2008.

Peters reported raising $400,000 through the end of 2007, about $1 million less than Knollenberg. Skinner's exit should allow Peters to gather more donations as the only major Democratic candidate, and will enable him to save funds for the often expensive last few months of the campaign.

Knollenberg's moderate voting record, especially on social and foreign policy issues, has kept him in the good graces of the district since first coming to office in 1992. This affluent district, based in Oakland County just north of Detroit, had been trending Democratic until the 2001 redistricting removed the heavily-Democratic city of Southfield, maintaining the district's Republican lean.

-- Kyle Trygstad