The New York Times/Siena College completed their live poll for the race in the 1st Congressional District between incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Democrat Scott Wallace. Their live poll shows Wallace leading Fitzpatrick 50-43 after 570 people responded, although 40,825 calls were made.
The New York Times describes it as a “modest lead” for Wallace, in a race that they ask if a Republican can “survive a national wave of rebellion in the suburbs.” The margin of error is +/- 4.6%.
In the first public poll showing Wallace in the lead, the “classic battleground district” views President Donald Trump negatively.
42% polled approve of Trump’s job performance as President, while 53% disapprove and 5% don’t know. Just 40% of those polled want the Republicans to retain control of the House of Representatives, while 55% would like to see the Democratic Party take control, with 5% don’t know.
The New York Times writes that Fitzpatrick has a moderate reputation, touting his endorsements from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, gun control advocate Gabby Giffords, and voting against the GOP attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, although the Republican did vote in favor of the GOP tax reform bill. The New York Times labels Wallace as embracing progressive positions and believes that Fitzpatrick isn’t distancing himself enough from Trump, while the President remains unpopular in the district.
59% polled want their Congressional representative to serve as a check on the Trump agenda, while just 35% want their representative to support his agenda and 6% don’t know.
This weekend, the Fitzpatrick campaign emailed out an internal poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies from Oct 2-4 of 400 likely voters showing the Republican leading over Wallace, 50-42.
That internal poll memo stated that Fitzpatrick’s image remains “positive” and “strong”, while “anti Wallace messages are resonating with voters.”
“Based on his strong positive image, Brian Fitzpatrick began the last month of the campaign with an edge over Scott Wallace, as Wallace has begun to take on water based on his residency, his Foundation’s financial contributions, his issue positions and his tax-payment tardiness,” this memo states.
The Wallace campaign believes the two week old internal poll excludes key information like party registration and thinks momentum is on their side, particularly with Independents and women voters.
“As the New York Times poll shows, Scott Wallace is doing better with Republicans than Brian Fitzpatrick is doing with Democrats and has a lead with Independent voters,” said Zoe Wilson-Meyer, Communications Director for Wallace for Congress. “Rep. Fitzpatrick’s smear attacks are backfiring and Scott Wallace has the momentum in this race. What is resonating with voters is Fitzpatrick’s record of voting with Donald Trump and the corporate special interests that fund his campaign over women and working families in Bucks and Montgomery counties.”
The New York Times/Siena College poll shows Fitzpatrick holds a higher percentage than Wallace is favorability and unfavorability, while Wallace still remains more unknown to likely voters.
43% view Fitzpatrick favorably, 37% view him unfavorably, while 20% don’t know. Wallace has a 40% favorable rating, with 31% viewing him unfavorably, and 29% don’t know.
These favorable ratings show a rather distinct difference than ones from the Monmouth Poll released earlier this month, that had Fitzpatrick leading Wallace with likely voters 50-46.
The Monmouth Poll had a net favorable rating for Fitzpatrick of 22 points, in comparison to the New York Times/Siena College poll of a 6 point net favorable rating. The Monmouth Poll portrayed Wallace with a 10 point net favorable rating, which is just one point higher than the New York Times poll. A big difference from Monmouth’s June poll to October’s poll was that Fitzpatrick’s net favorable ratings went from 30 points to 22, while Wallace’s declined from 20 points to 10 points.
Those polled for the New York Times/Siena College poll were asked two specific questions about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. The respondents were split on whether they believed the allegations, didn’t believe them, or just weren’t sure, while a majority polled didn’t support his nomination.
35% believed the sexual assault allegation from when he was a teenage, while 30% said they didn’t believe the allegation, and 34% said they didn’t know. 52% polled opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, with 42% supporting his nomination and 7% who don’t know.
The Fitzpatrick campaign did not immediately respond for comment.
The full data can be found here.