House Race Sampling Shows GOP Lead In 11 Of 12 Contests But... : It's All Politics A new survey of 12 congressional districts found GOP challengers leading in 11 of the contests. But the races were much tighter than many experts expected at this stage, with many of the small Republican leads within the margin of error.
NPR logo House Race Sampling Shows GOP Lead In 11 Of 12 Contests But...

House Race Sampling Shows GOP Lead In 11 Of 12 Contests But...

Rep.-elect Tom Periello (D-Va.), with name tag, with other, then-freshman House members in 2008. He is fighting for re-election. Evan Vucci/AP Photo hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP Photo

If you looked at a sample of voter leanings in 12 House congressional districts currently represented by Democrats, districts that could be bellwethers for the coming election, what would it tell you?

It would tell you what we've known, that Republicans are in position to regain control of the House. But it would also confirm, less than a month before Election Day, information we've seen elsewhere, that Democratic incumbents are generally keeping many of the races closer than expected.

The Hill newspaper reports on the new poll of 12 districts it commissioned along with the American Natural Gas Alliance:

In a poll of 12 hotly contested races that could decide who controls the House in the 112th Congress, Republican challengers are beating freshman Democrats in 11 — and in the last one, the race is tied.

But The Hill/America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) poll also detected a glimmer of light for Democrats; not one of the 12 Republican challengers has reached 50 percent, and half of them have leads so small that they are within the margin of error.

The surveyed races include Democrat Rep. Tom Periello in Virginia's 5th CD. He's in a statistical dead heat with Republican challenger Robert Hurt who was at 45 percent while the incumbent was at 44 percent with nine percent undecided.

In Colorado's 4th, Democrat Rep. Betsey Markey trailed Cory Gardner the Republican by three percentage points, 44 percent to 41 percent, with 14 percent undecided.

In New Mexico's 2nd, Rep. Harry Teague, the Democrat, lagged four percentage points behind Republican Steve Pearce who led 46 percent to 42 percent.