Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New internal poll has McCaskill up by nine points over Akin

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

McCaskill is surging, and internal poll shows.
  • McCaskill is surging, an internal poll shows.
Politico published a memo today with the results of an internal poll from Sen. Claire McCaskill's re-election campaign, and it's full of good news for the incumbent. The survey of 600 likely voters indicates that McCaskill has climbed to 50 percent support compared with 41 percent for Akin. The polling agency, Kiley & Company, wrote in the memo that it's the first time McCaskill has "cracked the crucial 50% threshold."

In addition to a large overall advantage, the poll found that Democrats have come together to back her. Of registered Democrats asked, 91 percent support her compared with 5 percent opposing her. On the Republican side, voters were less united for Akin, with 79 percent backing him and 14 percent opposed. Among independent voters, McCaskill cleaned up. Fifty-one percent of independents support her over 28 percent for Akin. The sample included 43 percent Republicans, 38 percent Democrats and 19 percent independents.

Another favorable statistic for McCaskill was that 43 percent of surveyed voters said their opinion of Akin has become less favorable compared with 15 percent whose views had become more favorable.

The polling memo concludes, "Despite his efforts to repair the damage to his candidacy, he continues to fall further behind, and he has yet to lock up the Republican base. Moreover, negative perceptions of Akin continue to build, and the perception that he is too extreme for Missouri has begun to take hold."

The results come just as Akin began to go on the offensive with a new commercial saying McCaskill and her husband, Joseph Shepard, were enriched by stimulus funding for operators of low-income housing.

The ad called "The Stimulus Made Claire McCaskill Rich" was posted to Akin's website on Monday. It claims that more than $1 million of stimulus money went to companies in which Shepard has ownership stakes. But, the Associated Press points out, McCaskill and her husband didn't receive very much money from the stimulus payouts.

"But Akin's ad may overstate how much of that money went directly to Shepard. The financial disclosure statements show Shepard received between $2,800 and $9,600 from the companies at issue in those years. McCaskill's campaign said Shepard's ownership stake in the developments ranged from 5 percent downward to less than a single percentage point," the AP reports.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development told the AP that the payments went to contractors that were providing low-income housing. "It [HUD] noted that payments in prior years had been delayed by budget shortfalls and congressional standoffs. The stimulus bill ensured the housing contractors got what they were owed, the agency said," the AP reports.

A spokeswoman for McCaskill called the ad, "nasty, desperate campaigning."

The ad is below.

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