The race to replace retiring Rep. Bart Stupak is essentially tied, according to a poll taken earlier this week for Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell's campaign. The poll showed surgeon Dan Benishek (R) ahead of McDowell 41 percent to 38 percent. Third party candidate Glenn Wilson got 12 percent, and nine percent were undecided.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner surveyed 505 likely voters Sept. 21-22, controlling for the district's large geographical spread over 31 counties. The poll had a margin of error of 4.4 points.
"I think that this race is clearly starting to take shape right now, and as more people get introduced to Gary McDowell they're seeing that Gary McDowell is the best Representative for this district," said McDowell campaign manager Daniel Krupnick.
The district has been a battleground for both parties since Benishek narrowly defeated state Sen. Jason Allen in the July 27 Republican primary. A number of outside groups have been involved in the race. Both House campaign committees, the American Future Fund and Americans for Prosperity have all run ads in the district already.
Benishek released an internal poll earlier in the month that showed him leading McDowell. In a four-way race including Wilson and Lonnie Lee Snyder, who has since been removed from the ballot, Benishek led McDowell, 39 percent to 25 percent. In a two-way test, though, he led 54 percent to 31 percent. The TargetPoint Consulting survey of 406 likely voters had a margin of error of 5.7 points. It was taken Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 before much of the advertising began.
CQ-Roll Call rates this race a Tossup.