Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity released a poll Friday that showed U.S. Rep. Fred Upton remains in a tight race for re-election in November.
The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows Upton with a 45-41 percent lead over Democratic opponent Matt Longjohn.
Two questions specifically portrayed Upton as vulnerable to voters.
The poll funded by the progressive organization asked about Upton’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017. In response to this, 58 percent of voters indicated they are less likely to vote to return Upton to Congress with 10 percent saying they are more likely to vote for him.
In the same question, 27 percent of voters felt it didn’t make a difference and 5 percent were not sure.
Participants were asked if Upton’s support of the Republican tax overhaul in 2017 had an affect on how they saw him. Fifty-eight percent said his support for the law makes them less likely to vote for him and 14 percent said they are more likely to give Upton another term.
The question noted that the tax law would add $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit and was skewed toward the wealthy. It did not say anything positive about the legislation.
Additionally, 22 percent said Upton’s support for the tax law doesn’t make a difference and 5 percent stated they were not sure how his vote affected their voting decision.
“This is the second poll in a week that shows voters in the 6th District are not happy with Upton’s vote for the Republican tax plan or his attempt to strip protections from people with pre-existing conditions,” Hugh Madden, communications director with Progress Michigan, said in a news release. “If this race becomes a referendum on health care and taxes, Upton could very well be sent home come November.”
When contacted by phone Friday, Madden said they chose to include those questions as health care and the tax law are issues their organization have focused on. He denied that questions were levied to push voters into negative opinions about Upton.
Upton campaign manager Nate Henschel had choice words for PPP.
“Not much. This isn’t the first time this highly biased firm has put out polling that was un-tethered to reality,” Henschel said. “We feel good about where we are at on the campaign side of things, no matter how bad liberal Super PAC’s and their ‘polls’ try to distort the truth about Fred’s positive, bipartisan record.”
PPP, a polling firm based in Raleigh, N.C., produced a similar poll in 2014 when Paul Clements ran against Upton for the first time.
That 2014 poll showed Upton being down by 13 points, which the St. Joseph congressman ended up winning by a similar margin.
The poll that was released Friday surveyed 750 voters in the 6th District online between Sept. 4-5.
Other questions on the survey looked at both Longjohn’s and Upton’s favorability.
Voters viewed Upton unfavorably with 44 percent, as opposed to 38 percent rating him favorably. Eighteen percent were unsure of how they perceived the incumbent.
Longjohn had a 21 percent favorable rating and a 13 percent unfavorable rating. About 66 percent of responders said they were unsure of Longjohn as a candidate.
Been here before
A poll paid for by the Longjohn campaign was released last week on Aug. 31 that showed Longjohn was 5 points behind Upton.
Global Strategy Group (GSG) conducted a telephone survey of 500 voters from Aug. 24-29. The margin of error for the overall electorate at the 95 percent confidence level was plus or minus 4.4 percent.
This survey found Upton’s standing at 42 percent favorable to 40 percent unfavorable.
Upton’s name identification was 82 percent and Longjohn’s was 30 percent. Longjohn’s campaign viewed the poll as a sign the race could tighten once voters learn more about their candidate.
GSG concluded that the 50-point name identification advantage boosted Upton to a 5-point lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, in a two-way ballot.
When third-party candidate Stephen Young, of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, is included, Upton leads 47 percent to 41 percent to 3 percent.
In 2016, Upton won with 58.6 percent of the vote. His closest opponent, Paul Clements, got 36.3 percent.
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