DCCC Poll Shows Blue Dog Democrat Heath Shuler Well Ahead
By John McArdle
Despite heavy spending against him by conservative third party groups including the well-funded Americans for Job Security, Rep. Heath Shuler (D) holds a 15 point lead in North Carolina's 11th district, according to a new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll.
The survey, which was in the field Oct. 17 to 19, showed Shuler ahead of Republican Jeff Miller 54 percent to 39 percent. The Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted the poll of 401 likely 11th district voters. It had a 4.9 point margin of error.
Though Miller was never expected to compete financially with Shuler's huge warchest, Republicans have been optimistic about making the western North Carolina seat a late addition to the 2010 playing field in large part because they believed third party groups had softened up the second term Congressman in recent weeks. AJS alone has spent over three quarters of a million dollars targeting Shuler.
"Every day that goes by voters in Western North Carolina learn how out of touch Jeff Miller's agenda really is," said DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson in a release. "Voters are focusing on what his job-killing agenda would mean in Congress and they don't like what they see."
Update: NRCC spokesman Jon Thompson fired back:
"This poll isn't worth the paper it's written on. If Washington Democrats are so comfortable with Health Shuler's re-election campaign, why are they bailing him out with expensive TV ads and sending Bill Clinton to Asheville to prop up Shuler? If you follow the money you'll see that Democrats are nervous that North Carolinian's have had enough of the Obama-Shuler economy."
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