Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 10/16-17. Likely voters. MoE 3.8% (No trend lines)
Ben Quayle (R) 44
Jon Hulburd (D) 46
Yeah, that was a real WTF moment for us in this open seat being vacated by conservative icon John Shadegg. Completely unexpected. Sure, the idiot son of the idiot former vice president is a bit of a joke, but this is a solidly conservative district, one in which McCain won 57-42.
Now there is no intensity gap here. Or better put, there is a gap, but it goes the other way -- the composition of this sample is 52-40 McCain, or three points more Democratic than in 2008. That's likely part of the "favorite son" gap we've seen in polling in Illinois, Delaware, Hawaii and Alaska -- in which the presidential ticket boosted partisan performance for the home-state candidates.
In any case, Democrats have a legitimate and serious pickup opportunity in this district. The reason is that Quayle is having a bitch of a time locking down moderates and independents.
Hulburd is winning independents 50-36, and moderates 66-27. While only eight percent of Obama voters are defecting to Quayle, 18 percent of McCain voters are going with Hulburd. And even 19 percent of Republican voters are choosing the Democratic candidate, likely an artifact of a nasty primary. In fact, Quayler's favorable/unfavorable rating of 34/52 is shockingly bad for a first-time House candidate, and incudes 30 percent unfavorables from Republican voters, and 29/51 from independents. Hulburd is at 33/20, including 37/16 from independents. Yet given that half of voters have no idea what to think of Hulburd, he may be benefiting from an "anyone but Quayle" dynamic.
John McCain is winning this district easily in his current bid for re-election, 53-39, further suggesting that the sample isn't too Democratic. And most undecideds come from 18 to 29 year olds, suggesting Hulburd has the best chance to grown his support past 50 percent.
Those of you who voted to poll this district last week, great call. I wouldn't have chosen this one, but I'm glad you did.