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Posted: Oct. 8, 2010

Poll: In House race, Rob Steele leads John Dingell by 4 points


A new independent poll has the dean of the U.S. House, Rep. John Dingell, trailing his Republican opponent, Rob Steele, by 4 percentage points.

The automated phone survey of 300 people in the 15th Congressional District showed Steele getting 43.8% of the vote. Dingell, a Dearborn Democrat and the longest-serving member of Congress, got 39.5%. About 11% were undecided. The gap is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points. The poll was conducted Monday.

Dingell's campaign said the survey -- conducted by the Rossman Group of Lansing and Team TelCom -- is a Republican front and is contradicted by other polls in recent weeks.

Team TelCom's president Gary Reed has Republican ties, but Kelly Rossman-McKinney, CEO of the Rossman Group, has Democratic roots.

"It's kind of what we hear on the ground. We're hearing from everybody about the need for change and the need for someone who is not a career politician," Steele said.

Dingell was elected in 1954 and followed his father to represent the district.

Statewide polls suggest Republicans could do very well statewide in Michigan in the Nov. 2 election, though relatively few polls have been conducted in congressional races. Dingell's race is not among the three in Michigan expected to be the closest.

Also running in the district are Aimee Smith of the Green Party, Matthew Furman of the U.S. Taxpayers Party and Libertarian Kerry Lee Morgan.

A version of this story appears on page 6A of the Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, print edition of the Detroit Free Press.

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