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August 26, 2008

Walberg, Knollenberg Ahead, Barely

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.