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Dem-sponsored Poll Suggests Feeney Is Vulnerable For Re-election

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) is facing a serious challenge for re-election, according to a July poll commissioned jointly by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List.

According to the survey, only 23 percent of district-wide voters said that Feeney “definitely deserves re-election,” while 21 percent said they will vote for someone else. An accompanying polling memo said Feeney’s re-elect numbers are “one of the lowest of any incumbent in the country.”

A 46 percent plurality of voters said Feeney is doing a “fair or poor job” as congressman, while only 36 percent said he was performing positively.

Feeney still holds a 42 to 23 percent lead over the presumptive Democratic nominee, former state Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, but his advantage is largely because of his higher name identification. In July, Kosmas was virtually unknown among district voters – only 19 percent of respondents could identify her.

The poll also suggests Democrats will attempt to bring up jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff in their campaign against Feeney. One of the questions asked in the poll was if voters “were aware of Feeney’s ties to Abramoff.”

The poll was conducted by the Democratic polling firm Garin-Hart-Yang in July and released Wednesday by the DCCC. 

Responding, Feeney’s chief of staff, Tonnie Wybensinger, said, “Feeney has always had a 24 percent unfavorable rating because 25 percent of the district is liberal – not enough to elect Kosmas. Kosmas' appeal right now is that no one knows who she is and once people do know, that appeal will diminish.”