Shock poll: Dingell trails Steele (The Michigan View 10.08.10)

Posted by hpayne on October 8, 2010

Well, he had good reason to be nervous. David leads Goliath.

John Dingell partisans pooh-poohed talk the Democrat icon was in trouble last month when a Detroit News poll showed Congress’ longest-serving dinosaur up 20 points over GOP challenger, Doc Rob Steele. But it was Dingell – in a fund-raising letter to supporters begging for war-chest money (disclosed by the liberal Politico) – that had set off the alarm bells.

As our Dan Calabrese first reported in the Campaign Buzz , Dingell set off alarm bells again yesterday by preemptively pooh-poohing a poll showing Big John trailing the suddenly Bigger Rob.

Well, the poll has been released. Read it and weep.

Disclosed late Thursday by the independent Rossman Group, the numbers show Dingell trailing Steele by a staggering 4 points, 44-40, with 11 percent undecided, reports the very same Detroit News.

“Dingell, the House’s longest-serving member, is trailing the Ann Arbor cardiologist 39.5 to 43.8 with 11 percent undecided, signaling a statistical tie in a race that was once considered safe territory for Democrats,” reports The News. “The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percent.”

As a long-time supporter of socialized medicine, Dingell was paraded by giddy Democrats on their shoulders to the White House last March for the signing of Obamacare’s government takeover of health care. But the hugely unpopular bill has become an anchor around Democrats in the months since, and Dingell has become its poster child.

“The Dean of the House will be tough to beat, but these numbers show that at this point, even The Dean is not immune to the anger that is brewing with the electorate,” Rossman-McKinney said in a statement. Dingell’s campaign dismissed the results as “a GOP poll conducted by a firm with GOP ties masquerading as an independent poll.”

Now that’s desperation. The Rossman Group is hardly a GOP shop, with a reputation for leaning slightly left given its founder’s (Kelly Rossman-McKinney) Democratic ties. “We are strictly a nonpartisan group,” says Rossman-McKinney. “We don’t do any work for any candidates, never have, never will.”

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