Michigan: Democratic Poll Shows Gary McDowell Within 2 Points of Dan Benishek

Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:36pm

Updated 5:33 p.m. | A new Democratic poll of Michigan’s 1st district showed former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) within 2 points of freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R).

Benishek barely leads McDowell, 40 percent to 38 percent, with 22 percent of respondents undecided, according to a survey paid for by House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, and released to Roll Call.

The poll is the most recent indication Democrats can compete in the northern Michigan House district this cycle. It’s one of the must-win seats for House Democrats if they want to make inroads into the GOP’s 25-seat majority this November.

Former Rep. Bart Stupak (D) held the 1st district  seat for nine terms before retiring in 2010. Last cycle, Benishek defeated McDowell by 11 points in their first matchup.

“As this poll shows, Michigan’s 1st district is a prime Democratic pickup opportunity this November,” House Majority PAC spokesman Andy Stone said.

The survey’s memo also noted Benishek had 79 percent name identification while McDowell had just 48 percent name identification among respondents.

The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group poll surveyed 402 likely general election voters in Michigan’s 1st district from June 19 to 20. It had a margin of error of 4.9 points.

Correction: 5:33 p.m.

The original post misstated the poll’s margin of error. It was 4.9 points.