| Michael Skelly made news recently by reporting extremely robust fundraising for a first time Democratic challenger in a traditionally Republican district. A high dollar DC pollster surveyed the race back in February and found him trailing incumbent John Culberson 52 to 33, with 16% undecided. After voters heard 'positive bios' for both candidates, that became a tie at 44. With the recent flurry of news on Skelly's fundraising, I thought I'd poll the race and see if there had been movement. Skelly's campaign has been out blockwalking, and I have noticed many online ads, but I don't think they have done any traditional advertising at this point.
My poll asked a series of questions about possible presidential matchups, the Senate race and finally the CD7 race. I also asked about the 2004 Bush/Kerry vote, which came back 64/36 for Bush, in line with the actual results for the district. Of the presidential matchups, Obama did slightly better than Clinton against McCain, but the Republican held a large lead in both matchups.
In the CD7 race, I identified each candidate's party, which may explain the unexpectedly low undecided response. Only 4% said they were undecided, with Culberson receiving 57% to Skelly's 39%. On the other hand, there was a significant amount of mixed-party support in various forms. Some went with Cornyn and Skelly, others with Noriega and Culberson, some that went Democratic for president but Republican for the lower ticket races and some that went McCain, Noriega and Skelly. Less than half supported all three Republicans, though that is probably the best spin for the Democrats to come out of this poll. Enough voters are willing to consider a non-Republican, but a Democratic candidate would need flawless execution and a little luck.
For CD7, the older the voter, the more likely the support for Culberson. Voters under 40 were +8 for Culberson, 40-59 were +18 and 60+ were +23. There was no gender gap, as Culberson got the same percentage from both men and women. Non-white percentages are too small to provide meaningful crosstabs, but Skelly does lead Culberson here.
For the Senate race, Cornyn leads Noriega 58 to 39 in the district. Despite the similar results, about 6% of Cornyn's support went with Skelly, and a similar amount of Culberson's support went with Noriega. In general, the Noriega/Culberson flippers have a higher percentage of older women than average, and the Cornyn/Skelly flippers have a higher percentage of men than average, not concentrated in any one age group.
536 polled 4/8/08, Margin of error 4.2%