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Dem Poll: Kelly Leads DiNicola 49-46

One campaign sees it as a sign of momentum. The other sees it as fake and a “parting gift.”

This week, Democratic candidate for the 16th Congressional District, Ron DiNicola’s campaign shared a poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Targeting and Analytics Department showing the challenger trailing within the margin of error to incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler).

The DCCC Analytics survey of 548 likely voters for the November general election shows Kelly leading DiNicola 49-46, while 5% of voters remain undecided. This poll conducted on Oct 9-10 was done through a “standard blend of live cell phone and automated calls” with a “margin of error of +/- 4.2%.”  

As a reminder, all internal polls should be examined with caution.

The GOP friendly district went for President Donald Trump by 20 points in the 2016 election, but only went to Gov. Mitt Romney by slightly less than 5 points over President Barack Obama in 2012.

This poll states that DiNicola boasts a 4 point lead among women polled, 49%-45%, and well-ahead with registered Democrats by 68 points, 82%-13%. The poll also states that DiNicola leads Kelly 57%-37% in his home county of Erie, where the greatest share of registered voters are in the newly drawn district. The poll also shows DiNicola leading 47-44 with voters under 40 and edging out Kelly by one point, 48-47 with voters over 65.

The DiNicola thinks their campaign is heading into a positive direction as election day approaches.

“Clearly, more and more Western Pennsylvanians want a representative in Congress who will fight for their interests as opposed to someone like Congressman Kelly who fights for his own,” DiNicola said in a press release. “We’re encouraged by growing support, but know we have to work around-the-clock through Election Day to earn every single vote.”

The Kelly campaign takes 0 stock in the poll and believes the DCCC has given up on the seat.

“This poll must be the DCCC’s parting gift to our opponent as they ended their television buy in the 16th district,” campaign spokesman Mike Barley said. “The DCCC has spent close to three quarters of a million dollars in television ads attacking Mike Kelly. This week, the DCCC realized that an out of touch, two time congressional campaign loser and California lawyer doesn’t play well in Western Pennsylvania.”

“Their “fake poll” doesn’t match their spending priorities,” Barley said.

Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District was the first race in the state the DCCC had invested an ad buy in.

5 Responses

  1. I would think Kelly is up by 7 or 8 percent. Not enough for the race to be over but enough for the D to be a long shot. If Kelly losses then it will be a song that election night will be calamitous for the GOP. I don’t see it. Not a great night for them but probably not a 2010 in reverse.

  2. It would seem Kelly has this race locked up. DiNicola put forward a concerted effort but as this article says, “all internal polls should be examined with caution.” All internal polls greatly favor their party’s candidate by several points. Given they gave DiNicola 46% it is likely closer 44% or 43%. Kelly’s numbers are also likely 50%-51%. This is consistent with the New York Times poll as well as the previous two. DiNicola will do well in the City of Erie but the he can’t seem to break through into the county and the rest of the district.

  3. The Erie numbers are encouraging, but the two keys to the race for Dinicola are Mercer and Lawrence counties. Would be interested to see what those numbers are. If he wins Lawrence and keeps the numbers close to voter registration in Mercer, he’s good. If he doesnt, he has no chance.

    1. There have been a good amount of signs in the more conservative/rural parts of the Erie County, like in Waterford and McKean. I think these people are supporting the hometown candidate and that does not bode well for Kelly. Having said that, Ron needs to really run up the margin in Erie County (turnout wise too) to offset the more conservative southern portions of the district. Getting good numbers out of the Sharon/Hermitage/Farrell areas, as well as out of New Castle, will be necessary too. Kelly likely still has an edge but Ron could very well win this race.

      1. Agree 100 percent. I think he will run up the numbers in Erie. Also agree the key to the whole thing is the Shenango valley. Absolutely has to win Lawrence and keep around even in Hermitage area.

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