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EMILY’s List released polls from five competitive House districts Wednesday that showed the Democratic contenders — all of whom are women — in surprisingly strong shape, despite the partisan lean of the districts. In each of the polls, the Democrat either was leading or within the poll’s margin of error:
• In Illinois’ 6th district, a poll of 400 likely voters conducted Sept. 18-20 by Goodwin Simon Victoria Research found Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) in a dead heat with state Sen. Peter Roskam (R). Both candidates had 41 percent.
• In Minnesota’s 6th district, which gave President Bush a 15-point victory in 2004, state Sen. Michele Bachmann (R) led child safety advocate Patty Wetterling (D), 44 percent to 41 percent. The poll of 300 likely voters, done by the Feldman Group Inc., was taken Sept. 19-21 and had a 5.7 percent error margin.
• In Ohio’s 15th district, Rep. Deborah Pryce (R) led Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D), 43 percent to 42 percent. The Goodwin Simon Victoria Research Poll of 500 likely voters that was taken Sept. 21-24.
• In Arizona’s 8th district, former state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) was trouncing ex-state Rep. Randy Graf (R) 54 percent to 29 percent in a Bennett, Petts & Blumenthal poll of 400 likely voters was taken Sept. 19-21 and had a 4.9 percent error margin.
• In a poll of Washington’s 8th district released earlier this week, Rep. Dave Reichert (R) led former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner (D), 44 percent to 43 percent. The poll of 400 registered voters was taken Sept. 18-21 and had a 4.9 percent margin of error.
Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILY’s List, which supports Democratic women candidates who favor abortion rights, said that 14 women have a chance of winning Republican-held House seats in November.
— Josh Kurtz
Democratic Ads Using Iraq Intelligence Report
Democratic Congressional candidates are leaping on the air to attack their Republican opponents for supporting President Bush’s policies in Iraq, just days after parts of a leaked National Intelligence Estimate indicated the Iraq War has worsened the terrorism threat.
Connecticut state Sen. Chris Murphy (D) aired a new television ad Wednesday attacking his opponent, Rep. Nancy Johnson (R), for supporting “President Bush’s war in Iraq.”
Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said another candidate has produced ads related to the NIE and several others are in the works, signaling Democrats expect to use the leaked intelligence briefing to tear down Republicans’ national security credentials before the midterm elections.
At a news conference Wednesday, DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) challenged Republicans to distance themselves from Bush’s dismissal of the NIE.
Schumer said the week’s events provide rosy news for Democrats looking to take control of Congress.
“It’s been a bad week for George Bush. It’s been a bad week for Republican candidates,” Schumer said. “We are feeling very, very good about our chances. The numbers keep getting better and better and better in every part of the country.”
— Jeffrey Patch
Kerry Sending Troops to 20 Battleground States
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) continues to tap his three-million-strong e-mail list to boost Democratic efforts to win control of Congress.
Kerry recently penned a series of letters to supporters of his 2004 presidential bid seeking volunteers to work on coordinated campaigns in 20 states.