Florida: DCCC Touts Old Poll on Feeney Weaknesses

Posted October 24, 2007 at 5:43pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Wednesday released a three-month-old poll showing that former state Rep. Susan Kosmas (D) can be competitive with Rep. Tom Feeney (R) under the right set of circumstances.

In an initial trial heat, the poll found Feeney leading Kosmas, 42 percent to 23 percent. But in a memo, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, which surveyed 406 likely voters July 9-11 for the DCCC and EMILY’s List, attributed the lead to Feeney’s overwhelming advantage in name recognition — 86 percent to Kosmas’ 19 percent.

Although the Orlando-area/Space Coast district gave President Bush a 10-point victory margin in the 2004 White House election, the poll found voters split evenly between the parties when asked about their preferences in the 2008 presidential campaign.

What’s more, the pollsters argued that when certain themes were tested — particularly voters’ dissatisfaction with the national GOP and Feeney’s rumored ties to incarcerated lobbyist Jack Abramoff — the Congressman’s poll numbers cratered.

“The Abramoff scandal is not even one of the highest testing negatives,” the pollsters wrote. “For example, while 46 percent of voters express major doubts about Feeney’s ties to Abramoff, 58 percent express major doubts after hearing about Feeney’s support for privatizing Social Security.”

DCCC officials decided to release the poll Wednesday because Kosmas, a highly touted recruit, got into the House race earlier this month.

— Josh Kurtz