Voters show strong disapproval rating for veteran Representative
For the first time in Chet Edwards's Congressional career, a
challenger is leading him in a statistically viable poll
going into the general election season.
In a phone sample of 400 voters conducted early this month,
Republican candidate Bill Flores holds a majority lead of 52
percent to 41 percent. The sample was "stratified" by
county to reflect historic turnout patterns. The margin of
error is plus or minus 4.9 percent.
"Seem impossible?" asked pollster Wes Anderson of OnMessage,
"Nope. Democrats saw just such an advantage in a number of
races during the 2006 and 2008 election cycle."
When asked which candidate they would vote for if the
election was to be held today, the clear majority selected
Though Edwards leads in name recognition and his job
approval stands at 60 percent over a 33 percent disapproval
rate, he trails Flores by 11 points in the question
regarding their choice if the election took place today.
"In most election cycles Edwards' image and job approval
would be seen as sufficient for reelection...but not this
election," said Mr. Anderson.
More than 50 percent said he has not earned the right to be
re-elected and only 38 percent agreed he should be.
Voters approve of Flores at a rate of 37 percent with only a
10 percent unfavorable opinion.
In his announcement to the District 17 Republican Executive
Coalition, Mr. Flores said, "This is a poll; it's not an
election." Will the happy predictions come true on election
"I don't know," he said.
This compares with dismal approval ratings for President
Obama - 65 percent unfavorable, 50 percent very unfavorable.
Similarly, House Speaker Pelosi weighs in at 69 percent
unfavorable and 62 percent very unfavorable in the 12-county
"The bottom line is this election is being driven by the
voters who desire to send a message that they are fed up
with the direction President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are
taking the country. The most immediate method voters have
to voice their frustration is to vote for Bill Flores and a
majority of them intend to do just that," said Mr. Anderson.
Deputy Campaign Manager Travis Hancock told organizers - a
throng of 35 county chairmen, precinct chairmen and
captains, election judges and other acitvists from the 12-
county district - that the opposition, Mr. Edwards, has
voted for a $787 billion "failed stimulus package;" in fiscal year
2009, he approved 9,287 earmarks totaling $12.8 billion; an
additional 5,224 earmarks in 2009; a $1 trillion deficit for
the same year; voted against reducing the budget the deficit
by $249 billion in 2009; voted for the $700 billion TARP
bailout of 2008; and the auto bailout of $350 billon in
The sample polled disapproved of the earmarks cited by 2 to 1 -
60 percent against to 33 percent approval.
He emphasized that unless voters defeat Chet Edwards, they
will never rid themselves of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A veteran of
Republican Congressional campaigns that unseated such liberal
Democrats as Dallas Representative Martin Frost, he told the
District 17 activists that the Flores campaign is attracting
"TEA Parties from all over the nation are calling in wanting
to work the phones for Bill."
Mr. Flores reminded his audience that 65 years ago, "the
greatest generation" came home from World War Two and built
the strongest industrial economy the world has ever known.
"I'd like to think that 65 years from now, we will be
remembered as the ones who stopped America's slide toward
The crowd applauded loudly, then rose to give Mr. Flores a