Poll: Flores Holds Double Digit Lead Over Edwards

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A poll conducted for a prominent political newspaper shows Republican Bill Flores holds a 12-point lead in the race to represent the 17th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The challenger held a 52-40 percent advantage in the survey over incumbent Democrat Chet Edwards, who is seeking an 11th term in Congress.

The poll was conducted by the Penn Schoen Berland firm for The Hill newspaper out of Washington. In all, 42 polls done for the publication show potentially huge gains for the Republican Party come next Tuesday's election.

“Voters want to send a message to President Obama, and that’s what they plan on doing,” Mark Penn told The Hill. “But I don’t think it’s a message Obama can’t recover from if he listens to the voters.”

In fact, in the poll of 404 District 17 residents, 70 percent said their feelings about the president are important in deciding who to vote for in District 17, and 66 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Obama.

Flores has worked to tie Edwards to the president, who considered the congressman as a vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election. Edwards has touted his votes against healthcare reform and cap-and-trade in an effort to show he is a moderate Democrat.

When it comes to opinions on Edwards, 45 percent of those polled had a favorable view of him, while 49 percent had an unfavorable opinion.

The gap was much wider for Flores, who received a 56 percent favorable rating, and only a 31 percent unfavorable rating in the poll.

Republicans made up 41 percent of the people surveyed, while 28 were independents and 25 percent were Democrats.

The poll also indicates Edwards has lost a large amount of support, as 69 percent said they had voted for him in a previous election. When asked about his many years in elected office, 48 percent said his tenure was a reason to vote against him. On the other hand, 36 percent said his time in office was a reason to retain him.

Edwards serves on the committees overseeing budget and appropriations, among numerous others.

Early voting ends Friday.

Other notables:

- Those polled are heading to the polls: 91 percent said they will definitely vote in this election, while the other nine percent said they will probably vote.

- There probably won't be a lot of opinions swayed: 80 percent of those polled said they haven't changed their mind on this race recently and won't change it. Only seven percent are undecided.

- The current Congress isn't working in the minds of those polled: 78 percent disapprove of the job those currently in office are doing, with 60 percent strongly disapproving.

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