A new ABC27/Susquehanna Polling and Research poll shows Democratic challenger Ron DiNicola holding a four point lead over incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) in the race for Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District. The poll shows DiNicola leading Kelly 51-47, while 1% remain undecided and 1% said they support another candidate.
ABC27 describes the race as an “uphill battle” for the four term incumbent Republican congressman. 405 likely voters in the district were interviewed for this poll from Oct. 29-30. 38% polled were from Erie County, 18% from Butler County, 15% from Crawford County, and 14% each from Lawrence and Mercer Counties. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% at “the 95% confidence level.”
The newly drawn 16th district went to President Donald Trump by 20 points in the 2016 election, but the polling indicates the President is not boasting positive numbers at this current time, although Trump rallied with Kelly earlier this month in Erie. Exactly half of those polled, 50% disapprove of Trump’s job performance as President, while 47% approve, with 2% saying they are neutral and 1% not responding to that question. An even larger margin of likely voters polled would prefer their Congressional representative to “stand up to Trump and be a check and balance on his policies,” at 54%, while 43% want their member of Congress to “work closely with Trump to advance his agenda,” with 2% remaining neutral and 1% not responding to the question.
50% of those likely voters polled believe the country has gotten on the wrong track, while 44% believe the country is heading in the right direction, with those remaining neutral and not responding to that question tallied up to 3% each.
Registered Republicans slightly edged registered Democrats in this poll, although when likely voters were asked about how they see themselves while considering political issues, a significant number see themselves as “Independents/Unaffiliated.” 48% polled were registered Republicans, while 44% were registered Democrats, 5% Independent and 3% not responding to that question. When asked how they see themselves while considering political issues, 37% say they identify as Republicans, 32% as Democrats, 28% as Independent/Unaffiliated and 3% with no response.
52% polled were female, 45% were male and 3% did not respond to that question.
Two polls conducted earlier this month both had Kelly leading by multiple points. The New York Times/Siena College poll conducted a couple of days before Trump’s rally with Kelly on Oct. 10 showed the Republican leading 50-42 over DiNicola. A Democratic leaning poll conducted Oct 9-10 had Kelly leading DiNicola by 3 points, although the Kelly campaign believes it was a “fake poll.”
FiveThirtyEight currently has this race listed as Likely Republican.
The full data for the ABC27/Susquehanna Polling and Research can be found here.