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New York Times/Siena College Poll: Wallace 50 Fitzpatrick 43

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.

13 Responses

  1. It is a tough business to predict the election. 570 answered out of 40,800 calls. Who will answer the telephone calls these days? I usually let the answering machine screen the calls because of many spams.

  2. The devil is in the details. 59% in survey want a check on Trump and Fitzpatrick is not doing that with the budget vote and the healthcare vote. Wallace should continue to run 24/7 the cutouts of Trump and Fitzpatrick which is a powerful visual and he will be the next congressman. Inside Elections and Cook and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and others are all saying Trump is a disaster in the Fitzpatrick suburban districts. Wallace is in a good position this cycle to oust Fitz so run the cut out ads round the clock!

    1. Without question, it is true that Trump is a drag for those R’s in affluent CD’s. What makes PA 1 very interesting is that it is a split of affluent and ex-burban/rural.
      So, if upper bucks was under polled (I have not looked at the internals – relying on a poster comment below), then that would skew the results. However, there are also LESS people in upper bucks so the breakdown could be correct. So far, I think this may represent an outlier since it agrees with no other poll. “May be”. I have no way of knowing for certain and neither does anyone else.

      1. if upper bucks was under polled…

        As someone who drives through Upper Bucks (the top right under polled corner) everyday I can tell you Fitzpatrick should be worried. Lots of Wallace and Ullman yard signs in people’s lawns (not roadsides). Some for Fields too.

    2. The other theory is that the Wagner issue is seeping into this race and causing many soft R’s to turn away from the GOP as a hole in this race. That is something the PA GOP cannot afford because it could cost them PA1 and bring in a couple of other CD’s (Perry and Kelly) and make them competitive. Worse yet for the GOP that could spell the difference between Dem and Rep control of the U.S. House.

  3. Considering that publicized “internal polls” are off by at least 10 points, I’d say that Fitzpatrick was worried.

    “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”

    1. The nature polling is developing. I am in PA 6. A neighbor (who I don’t know) knocked on my door, identified himself as working for the R’s and asked if I would answer a few questions on who I was voting for. 3 races (state rep, Gov and Sen) and he put the answers right into the phone which captures the results immediately. Now, the poll is skewed because he said he was a R and some people will say they are voting for a R to not make him feel bad (BTW – a very nice guy) and some people who will vote for the D will refuse to answer his questions. Therefore, this poll was skew towards the R.

      Having said that, after I answered (all D), he told me that he was surprised that so many Independents (of which I am one) were voting Democrat. Still, whatever the results of this poll (and it cannot really be scientific imo), subtract at least 6-8 from the R total.

  4. Look at hoe few responses are from upper Bucks county, the part that will vote solidly Republican. Fitzpatrick is winning

      1. That may be true but a poll would normally weight things geographically to make certain this doesn’t happen. The nature of. the NYT/Siena polls makes that very difficult. While my political feelings are very well known here, I would state that from a statistical perspective this poll is most likely an outlier. That doesn’t mean I am predicting a Fitz or Wallace win. I still think Fitz has a slight advantage.

  5. Fitzpatrick is the last of a dying breed. The moderate Republican not cozying up to Trump. We will see how that affects him.

  6. Well, that is a surprise. My sense was that Fitz was ahead by a small amount. That could still be true and this could be an outlier but it is eye opening. The R’s in PA really need Fitz to prevail.

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