Democrats exiting the sinking ship? Part XVII 

It’s unusual for a poll to show an incumbent House member trailing a challenger. So it’s interesting that a SurveyUSA poll conducted for FireDogLake shows Democratic incumbent Baron Hill of the 9th district of Indiana trailing Republican challenger Mike Sodrel 49%-41%. It should be noted that Sodrel is almost surely better known than most challengers; this is the fifth time he has run against Hill, and he won the 2004 race 49.5%-49.0%.

Hill won 51%-46% in 2002, 50%-45% in 2006 and 58%-38% in 2008. The SurveyUSA poll shows Sodrel up 9% from where he ran 14 months ago and Hill running an amazing 17% behind where he ran in 2008.

Will Hill run again? He (and Sodrel) have both proven their persistence, if nothing else, and Hill was not afraid to slam tea partiers, as Jim Geraghty of National Review Online documents. My own tentative conclusion that this southern Indiana district is part of the Jacksonian Belt where Barack Obama is unpopular (John McCain carried the district 50%-48%), and that Baron Hil looks like an underdog this time unless we see a considerable change in the climate of opinion and balance of enthusiasm.

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Michael Barone

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