Poll: Tom Garrett has lead in Fifth District race

tom garrettHow close is the race for the open Fifth District seat in Congress? Close enough that the campaign of presumptive favorite Tom Garrett is citing new polling to claim a lead that is smaller than you’d expect.

Garrett, the Republican nominee, looking to succeed Republican Congressman Robert Hurt, who is retiring after three terms, has an 11-point lead on Democrat Jane Dittmar, according to recent polling from Meeting Street Research.

The weekend polling had Garrett up 50 percent to 39 percent for Dittmar. A September poll had Garrett at 47 percent to 36 percent for Dittmar.

This in a district that Hurt won in 2014 by 25 points, and won in 2012 by 12.5 points.

Democrats have won in the Fifth once – in 2008, when Tom Perriello won his single term, in the Barack Obama wave – since 2000.

Perriello led exactly one poll in that 2008 race – the one conducted on Election Day, after trailing in the early polling in the Fifth by as much as 29 points.

The key for Garrett: a lead among independents, who according to the Meeting Street Research poll are splitting for the Republican by a 52-30 margin.

“The problem for Dittmar is that there are more Republicans in this district than there are Democrats (Cooke rating R+5), and that the GOP is totally solid behind Garrett.  Worse for her, Garrett is currently winning independents as well,” said Meeting Street Research pollster Rob Autry.



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