Mixed Bag of Polling for GOP Freshmen

Rep. Jeff Denham's challenger released a poll today showing he had significantly cut into the Congressman's lead. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Many House Republican freshmen have competitive re-election campaigns on their hands, including a trio where fresh polling results this week made clear that some are far better off than others.

Freshman Reps. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) each garnered solid Democratic challengers, but a poll conducted for the Rigell campaign indicates he's in the strongest position of the three to return to Congress next year.

A poll by Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies found Rigell pulling way ahead of businessman Paul Hirschbiel (D), 54 percent to 32 percent. Four hundred likely voters in the Virginia Beach-based 2nd district, a crucial turnout district for the presidential and Senate races, were surveyed from Oct. 1-2 with a 4.9-point margin of error.

In Nevada, a Global Strategy Group poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee found Heck leading state Assembly Speaker John Oceguera (D), 42 percent to 38 percent. Oceguera's 4-point deficit was 5 points better than it was in the firm's August polling, and President Barack Obama led GOP nominee Mitt Romney, 47 percent to 46 percent.

The poll of 405 likely voters in the Clark County-based 3rd district was taken Sept. 27-30 with a 4.9-point margin of error.

Denham may have gotten the least inspiring news of the bunch. Astronaut Jose Hernandez (D) released a poll today by Margie Omero of Momentum Analysis that found the challenger had significantly cut into Denham's lead, now just 45 percent to 43 percent. The poll also found Obama and Romney running even, with 47 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney.

That poll of 500 likely voters in California's 10th district was taken Sept. 29-Oct. 1 with a 4.5-point margin of error.

Roll Call rates Rigell's district as Leans Republican, and the districts of Heck and Denham as Tossups.