• WisPolitics


Friday, July 23, 2010

 4:35 PM 

AFP poll: Kind lead over Kapanke less than some expect

Madison insiders haven’t paid much attention to the 3rd CD race lately, focusing much of their attention on the open 7th CD and the crowded GOP field in the 8th seeking to take on Dem incumbent Steve Kagen.

But a new poll paid for by the conservative Americans for Prosperity plus the latest fundraising reports suggest U.S. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, could have a fight on his hands with GOP state Sen. Dan Kapanke.

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies July 18-19, found Kind leading Kapanke 44 percent to 38 percent. Independent Michael Krsiean was backed by 6 percent of respondents.

What’s more, only 37 percent said Kind deserves re-election, while 49 percent believed it's time for a change. The survey also found a generic Republican outpolling a generic Dem 45 percent-36 percent.

This comes after recent FEC reports show the Republican state senator outraising Kind by $49,000 during the most recent quarter. Though Kapanke raised $244,000 to Kind’s $195,000, the incumbent still had a healthy cash on hand advantage. Kind’s warchest was $1.3 million compared to $342,000 for Kapanke.

Though incumbents polling at less than 50 percent are generally considered vulnerable, there were still some positive signs for Kind in the results.

His favorable rating still broke the 50-percent mark in the survey with 52 percent of respondents saying they had a positive opinion of him. Twenty-nine percent had an unfavorable opinion of him.

By comparison, Kapanke remains a largely unknown quantity to those surveyed. Twenty-six percent had no opinion of him, while 36 percent said they’d never heard of him. Twenty-nine percent had a favorable impression of Kapanke, while 9 percent had an unfavorable impression.

Kind’s campaign declined to comment on the survey results.

Kapanke campaign manager Brian Chatwin said he was “thrilled” by the poll.

“It shows the majority of people disagree with the position and votes that Ron Kind has taken,” he said. “It shows that the majority of people in Wisconsin are opposed to out-of-control government spending, and they want a member of Congress who will focus on jobs. That’s been Kapanke’s message all along.”

The poll of 300 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.66 percentage points.

It also found 65 percent of respondents believed the economic stimulus package, which Kind supported, “was just a government spending program that did not create enough new jobs for the money,” while 33 percent said it “is working to create jobs and pull the economy out of the recession.”

A memo from veteran pollster Gene Ulm says “economic anxieties and anger toward government spending have galvanized voters against incumbents.”

For example, asked if they supported a “Wall Street bailout bill that spent $700 billion dollars to bailout Wall Street banks, at the same time banks were foreclosing on thousands of Wisconsin homes,” 70 percent said no.

Seventy-four percent opposed cap and trade legislation that “could cost Wisconsin thousands of jobs and increase families’ electricity bills by over 1,700 dollars a year.”

AFP state director Mark Block says the poll is indicative what’s happening across the state and nation.

“The concerns people expressed at Tea Parties and Town Hall meetings throughout Wisconsin are being shared by citizens around the state,” Block said. “Politicians on the wrong side of those concerns are now feeling the heat for ignoring their constituents.”


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