Dr. Scott DesJarlais’s campaign is sending out a polling memo showing that he’s virtually tied with Democratic incumbent Rep. Lincoln Davis in the 4th Congressional District race – Davis 45 percent, Desjarlais 41 percent, within the margin of error. That’s something of a contrast with a Davis memo recently that said Davis is “over 50 percent.”
Here’s the DesJarlais memo (and, below that, a rebuttal or sorts from the Davis campaign):
TO: DR. SCOTT DESJARLAIS / DESJARLAIS FOR CONGRESS CAMPAIGN
FROM: ROB AUTRY — PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES
RE: TENNESSEE CD 4 SURVEY FINDINGS
The Bottom Line
This race is a toss-up. The desire for a change in Washington and a Congressman who will serve as check and balance to President Obama and the Democrats in Congress, puts Lincoln Davis’ re-election effort in a very precarious position.
The race in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District is a dead-heat. Congressman Lincoln Davis holds a very tenuous four-point lead – well within the margin of error – over Scott DesJarlais (45% Davis – 41% DesJarlais). Additionally, Davis does not have much of an intensity edge in this race – fully 29% of voters say they are definitely voting for Davis, compared to 26% definitely supporting DesJarlais.
# Moreover, DesJarlais leads Davis (46% to 43%) among voters who rate their interest level as “high” (8-10 on a one-to-ten scale).
This is a solidly Republican district. The generic ballot shows that voters in this district prefer a Republican candidate for Congress by a 20-point margin over a Democratic candidate (50% Republican – 30% Democratic). The all-important Independent vote is also decidedly more Republican this year (+24 Republican on the generic).
# At the top of the ticket, Republican Bill Haslam holds a commanding 34-point lead over Democrat Mike McWherter in the race for Governor. This also explains why Republican voters are much more energized than Democratic voters are about this year’s elections (Percent “10” on interest scale among Republicans is 59% compared to 41% for Democrats).
Voters here want a check and balance to President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Two out of three voters (67%) in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District say they want a Congressional candidate who will be a check and balance to President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. (22% want a candidate who will vote with Obama and the Democrats in Congress).
Public Opinion Strategies is pleased to present the key findings from a survey of 300 likely general election voters in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District. The telephone survey was conducted August 10 & 12, 2010 and has a margin of error of +/- 5.66%.
Part of a Rebuttal memo from Davis campaign:
With seven weeks remaining, Scott Desjarlais released a one month old poll conducted August 10 & 12 with a sample size of 300 and a margin of error of almost 6% showing Lincoln Davis ahead and at 45%. With margin of error factored in, this means that Davis’ lead in this poll could be as much as 10% rather than the 4% the poll showed. This was confirmed in a poll conducted August 24 – 26 by Benenson Strategy Group with a sample size of 400 and a margin of error of 4.9% which found that Davis’ poll numbers “continue to remain stable” and that Davis has a double digit lead.
Yesterday, Lincoln Davis received the American Farm Bureau “Friend of the Farmer” award for his 100% voting record. Davis has been endorsed for re-election in 2010 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the AFL-CIO, the National Rifle Association, and the National Right to Life.
While Republicans have a higher generic preference over democrats, polling and election returns for years has shown that the Fourth Congressional District considers itself an independent district. United States Senator Bob Corker is one of the most popular Republican elected officials throughout the 4th Congressional district and Lincoln Davis holds higher favorability ratings than Senator Corker. National Journal continually ranks Davis as one of the “House Centrists” and voters continue to reward Davis with comfortable re-elections.