New national poll suggests even GOP incumbents John Mica, Dennis Ross could be in trouble

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A new survey of 25 GOP-held districts, including Florida’s 7th and 15th Congressional Districts, shows dwindling favorability for Republican members of the House in the wake of the recent government shutdown.

The survey, conducted by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling and funded by MoveOn.org, is the third in a series of polls that indicate Democrats have a shot at taking back the House of Representatives in the 2014 election cycle.

The results of the latest survey show that incumbent Republicans John Mica and Dennis Ross trail generic Democratic candidates.

In CD 7, Mica’s approval rating is upside down at 33% approve/50% disapprove. Sixty-five percent of voters in “oppose Congress shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place.

In ballot tests, Mica trails the proverbial “generic Democrat” 43% to 46%; he trails 41% to 49% when the respondent is informed Mica supported the government shutdown.

In CD 15, Ross’ approval rating is also upside down at 23% approve/38% disapprove. Two-thirds of voters in this district opposed the government shutdown.

Against a generic Democrat, Ross trails 38% to 45%; he is down 42% to 50% when the respondent is informed Ross supported the government shutdown.

Public Policy Polling indicated several caveats to the results. The surveys were conducted during a high-profile budget crisis debate, a year before the elections will take place. And incumbent Republican candidates were compared to “generic Democrats,” who may not represent the actual candidates each district will see.

“Democrats must recruit strong candidates and run effective campaigns in individual districts if they are to capitalize on the vulnerability revealed by these surveys,” Public Policy Polling’s Jim Williams said of the caveat, “and they must maintain a significant national advantage over Republicans.”

Recent polls conducted by the Pew Research Center and NBC/Wall Street Journal are consistent with the survey’s claim that the Republican party took a hit from the fiscal crisis. Pew found that more Americans blamed Republicans for the shutdown, and NBC/Wall Street Journal found that the Republican party was “badly damaged” by it. 

Material from the Huffington Post was used in this post.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.