A new independent poll has the dean of the U.S. House, Rep. John Dingell, trailing his Republican opponent, Rob Steele, by 4 percentage points.
The automated phone survey of 300 people in the 15th Congressional District showed Steele getting 43.8% of the vote. Dingell, a Dearborn Democrat and the longest-serving member of Congress, got 39.5%. About 11% were undecided. The gap is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points. The poll was conducted Monday.
Dingell was first elected in 1954–he took the seat over from his father who was first elected in 1932. So, on the upside, Dingell can always campaign on the compelling message: Are you better off now than you were 78 years ago?
Dingell has apparently been worried about the election for awhile. Jay Cost noted on September 3:
4. Wha? I just about fell out of my chair when I read this:
Veteran Rep. John Dingell is telling donors he could be in trouble in November.
“This year I need your maximum financial contribution to my campaign,” the Michigan Democrat wrote to supporters in a fundraising letter Thursday.
“Come November 2nd I intend to make sure he is sorely disappointed,” Dingell tells his donors.
“My opponent is running with the tea party and he claims he will invest his quite substantial personal fortune in his effort to defeat me. He is running around with a poll showing that I am vulnerable.”
That poll, an internal survey for Republican Rob Steele’s campaign, puts the challenger in striking distance, down just 51 percent to 42 percent, in a matchup against the longest-serving member of the House.