Dingell dangling – trouble in Michigan

At the age of 84, dinosaur Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is currently the longest serving member of congress. (He “inherited” this seat from his father, who served from 1933 – 1955.) He has held this House seat since 1955 and is currently up for re-election. A liberal democrat from a largely democrat district, Dingell should be a lock for re-election but for the changing mood of the country. According to a recent poll, Dingell is in a statistical dead heat with little-known republican challenger, Rob Steele, a cardiologist who has never before run for office. (story here from the Daily Caller)

The “robo” poll of 300 people, conducted by Rossman Group of Lansing and Team TelCom, showed Steele getting 43.8 percent of the vote and Dingell getting 39.5 percent of the vote.

The poll had a margin of error of 5.6 percent, meaning the race is statistically tied, according to its results.

Dingell has assailed the veracity of the poll and one Republican campaign expert cautioned not put too much weight on its results.

Still, any incumbent polling below 50 percent is in trouble because in most races many voters only become acquainted with challengers in the week or so leading up to election day.

For Dingell to be polling at 40 percent, a full 10 points below the safety zone, is a remarkable development for a race in such a deeply Democratic district.

While the poll may have “little statistical significance,” it does indicate that voters may be changing their attitudes about entrenched incumbency. This will be a very interesting race.

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