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Posted on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 7:24 p.m.

Latest poll shows John Dingell more popular in Washtenaw County than other parts of district

By Ryan J. Stanton

A new poll shows U.S. Congressman John Dingell, D-Dearborn, is popular with voters in Washtenaw County — but the 84-year-old incumbent may have a tough time convincing voters in other parts of the 15th Congressional District to reelect him in November.

Asked whether they would reelect Dingell, 42.5 percent of district voters said they would, while 47 percent said it was time to give someone new a chance and 10.5 percent were undecided.

Thumbnail image for John_Dingell_headshot_May_2010.jpg

John Dingell

Dingell did better among voters in Washtenaw County, who said they would reelect him by a margin of 53.3 percent to 34.2 percent. Those numbers reverse in Monroe and Wayne counties.

The poll was conducted by the Glengariff Group Inc. for WDIV-TV and the Detroit News. It included a survey of 400 likely voters in the 15th Congressional District.

Dingell is being challenged in the Nov. 2 election by Ann Arbor-area cardiologist Rob Steele, a Republican who says it's time for change after 55 years with Dingell in office.

But the poll shows Steele's campaign has not yet connected with voters on a mass scale. He had only 49.5 percent name identification in the district. About 15.8 percent of voters said they view him favorably, while 8.5 percent said they view him unfavorably.

Dingell had 97.7 percent name identification in the district. About 48.3 percent of voters said they view him favorably, while 31.8 percent said they view him unfavorably.

In a generic ballot test in which voters were asked whether they would vote for "the Republican candidate," "the Democratic candidate," or a third-party candidate, 45.3 percent said they would vote for the Democratic candidate, while 32 percent said they would go Republican.

Another 7.5 percent said they would vote for a third party candidate, while 14.8 percent said they were still undecided.

Again, the numbers improve for Dingell in Washtenaw County, where 56.6 percent said they would vote for the Democrat, compared to 26.3 percent who said Republican. Only 1.3 percent of Washtenaw County voters said they would vote for a third party candidate.

Among voters that say they are "definitely" voting, Democrats hold a 44 percent to 34 percent generic ballot lead, according to the poll.

Both campaigns are making a push to raise donations right now. Dingell plans to air a new ad starting Tuesday that characterizes him as "America’s Watchdog," holding BP accountable, cracking down on Medicare waste and getting tainted food off the shelves.

The ad paints millionaire Steele as "Wall Street's Yes Man," and suggests Steele supports Wall Street control of Social Security, tax cuts for wealthy Wall Street bankers, and tax loopholes that ship American jobs overseas.

"Steele’s radical plans go even further than what George W. Bush was able to accomplish," Dingell's website states.

Steele's campaign says the GOP is in striking distance of Dingell.

"The Dingell camp has sent MDP chair Mark Brewer on the attack," Steele's website reads. "Over the next three days, help us raise the $50,000 that we need to refute Brewer's blatant lies and retire John Dingell in November."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.


Scott Wood

Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 3:07 p.m.

Anyone that still votes for the Dingellsaurus deserves what Michigan is coming to.


Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 9:49 p.m.

A poll shows Ann Arbor's own Dr. Aimee Smith, the Green Party nominee at 3.6%! She has the highest showing of any third party candidate in the district. Show your support for Aimee Smith this November!


Thu, Sep 23, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

InsideTheHall: Ah-hah! Now I know why you believe that Democrats prefer Rick Snyder over Virg Benero. You believed the statement at the bottom of the "ClickonDetroit" website which was supposedly extracted from the original Glengariff survey. HOWEVER, that website is misquoting the original Glengariff survey. To access the ACTUAL Glengariff survey report you must "click" on the hyperlink in the article that is entitled, "General Election Survey 9/17/10," which then downloads the survey as a PDF. If you examine the PDF you will find this statement: "BERNERO- SNYDER BALLOT TEST: SNYDER HOLDS 4 POINT LEAD IN DEMOCRATIC TERRITORY Respondents were asked if the election for Governor were held today, would they support Republican Rick Snyder or Democrat Virg Bernero: Rick Snyder......Virg Bernero....Undecided.......44..................40.0%..........15.5% Rick Snyder holds a lead of 48.8%-34.0% in Monroe County and a lead of 51.0-35.1% in Wayne County. Virg Bernero holds a lead of 48.7%-34.2% in Washtenaw County. Among voters that say they are DEFINITELY voting, Snyder holds a narrow 43.7%-42.3% lead in the 15th Congressional District. Bernero wins 78.9% of the Democratic vote. Snyder wins 87.4% of the Republican vote. And Snyder wins among Independent voters by a margin of 57.3%-19.7%." Do not always trust those who purportedly quote from a report. Always check out the accuracy by examining the original source. Lesson over!


Thu, Sep 23, 2010 : 5:34 p.m.

My post is correct:


Thu, Sep 23, 2010 : 12:58 p.m.

InsideTheHall: Wrong again. Here is the distribution of the 400 registered, likely general election voters surveyed in the Glengariff Group, Inc Michigan-15 General Election Survey dated September 17, 2010: From page 4:.....................Democratic.....Republican.....Third Party Monroe..............39.2%............38.1%...........10.3% Washtenaw........56.6%............26.3%...........1.3% Wayne...............37.7%............33.8%...........11.9% The remainder of your "analysis" is likewise inventive, imaginative and inaccurate. But it reads well. Perhaps you will share the book with me as I do enjoy good fiction.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 8:11 a.m.

veracity: Those numbers are for Democratic voeters only! Bully Bernero is trailing within his own party. Bernero is toast. The 15th was reconfigured after the 2000 Census to include Ann Arbor creating a "safe" DEM district. This created the infamous Dingell/Rivers primary that twisted the knickers of the Starbucks crowd as their girl lost. Word on the streeet among likely voters wearing birkenstocks is that they will vote for Steele or not at all. The latte logic is defeat Dingell now setting up the resurrection of Rivers in 12. Dingell is likely to retire as the 12 election is deemed an easier race to win for his wife (likely annointed on to the "Dingell family seat") Debbie who has been upping her political profile. The fact that Steele is within striking distance in a "liberal" district is reflective of the failed Obama and the pressure being applied down the ballot.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

Dingel got eaten by his own party, 2 years ago. Apparently, They do not want him in DC. That alone should kill your vote for him. His time has come and gone.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

I do hope this fellow will be voted out as he does not seem to be able to do the honorable thing and retire. There is a time to face reality even if one has tenure. We need fresh perspective and not representation by someone steeped in the culture of industry and particularly the auto industry. Times change and we need an updated champion for our state.

Somewhat Concerned

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 6:58 a.m.

He's a big National Rifle Association (NRA) supporter, so Ann Arbor should just love him. Nothing like keeping Michigan stuck in its go on strike so we can go hunting past.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 6:47 a.m.

From the same poll: Respondents were asked if the election for Governor were held today, would they support Republican Rick Snyder or Democrat Virg Bernero: Rick Snyder 44.0% Virg Bernero 40.0% Undecided 15.5% The gap is closing probably from the Undecided ranks but I wouldn't doubt that some Republicans are having second thoughts after comparing Virg Bernero's accomplishments as Lansing's mayor with Rick Snyder's purported jobs creation as an executive and venture capitalist. Or, perhaps voters are concerned about a probable attack on woman's rights with a Snyder led government.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 1:22 a.m.

I must say, this article is one of the worst cases of burying - or, rather, not even mentioning - the lede that I have seen in a long time. In your effort to lead your readership into thinking that this is a close race, no mention is made of two very important facts: 1.) This is the only time MI-15 has ever been polled, as far as I can remember. There's a reason for that: it's more-than-solid Democratic! That it is being polled by Republican-friendly Glenngariff is news in and of itself. In the season of crazy, anything seems possible, I guess. 2.) More importantly, absolutely no mention is made of the main portion of the poll, where it was asked: "Of the five candidates, for whom would you vote?" The answer showed Dingell with a substantial lead over Steele, 49.3% to 30.3%. The three remaining candidates collectively pick up about 7.7% and only 12.8% remain undecided. Even giving margin of error to Steele and all the Undecideds, he still loses. So, the reality isn't that Dingell's poll numbers are weak, just because many think it is time for him to retire. The reality is that many people think it is time for Dingell to retire, and they fantasize about finding someone to replace him, but when they look at the choices before them this year, they realize that no one could do a better job, and so nearly 50% go for Dingell in this poll, while barely 30% go for Steele. I hate to rain on your parade, but Dingell won't be coming home in January, unless it's for a quick visit to his constituents after he is sworn in for another term.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 11:25 p.m.

John Dingell will get elected in this district no if and or butts


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:54 p.m.

Now be kind to the old man He will be gone soon if we all do are part in November Remember - November


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:53 p.m.

I vote in a precint in this district. When I voted in the primaries this year, near the end of the day, I would be surprisaed in 5% of the precint showed up to the looming opportunity to vote republican or democrat. When I voted in the last presidential election I stood in line for almost an hour. My understanding is most people were there to vot e for Obama. Even if the Republicans gert out their base and then some(the Snyder crossovers) in this district, all the dems have to do is hope the rank and file come forward and Dingell will have no problem. This district is the one of the safest for dems in the state. Some of the Townships don't even have Republicans on the ballott for commissioner.

Silent Majority

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 8:29 p.m.

Good. I really don't care if Dingell is old or not, or even if he's been there that long. I've met the guy and he matches up with me on the issues (plus he's a genuinely nice man)and votes the right way. The 15th is not a conservative or marginal district, it's the 3rd or 4th most Democratic in the state. Ann Arbor isn't going to elect some right-winger who's running for Congress because he's got too much time and $ on his hands.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 8:13 p.m.

DAH! He needs to retire like 40 years ago!


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 7:59 p.m.

While I think Rep Dingell's retirement is 12 years overdue, I've always thought he was safe. I hope he is defeated in this election, his platforms are what got us where we are and will keep us here.

Ray D. Aider

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 7:33 p.m.

"When asked whether they would reelect Dingell, 42.5 percent of voters in the district said they would, while 47 percent said it was time for change and 10.5 percent were undecided." Steele is going to win...and there will be a lot of long faces in classrooms all over Washtenaw Co. Teachers, Professors, and College students mainly. Power to the people!