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Poll: Ebola Poses Risks for Democrats' Political Ambitions

Poll: Ebola Poses Risks for Democrats' Political Ambitions

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AUSTIN, Texas — The Ebola crisis could play a role in determining which party wins control over the House and Senate after the November midterms, according to a new poll by POLITICO. The poll, which tested public opinion among 840 likely voters in key battleground districts across the United States, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points and was conducted October 3 through 11, wrapping up just as the second Ebola patient, nurse Nina Pham, tested positive. 

POll respondents were asked, “How much confidence do you have that the U.S. government is doing everything possible to contain the spread of Ebola?” Twenty-two percent of likely voters had “a lot of confidence” that the federal government was doing everything it could regarding Ebola, 39 percent said “some confidence,” 21 percent “not much confidence,” and 12 percent “no confidence at all.”

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Partisan breakdown of the responses also showed a correlation between lower levels of confidence in the federal government’s response to Ebola and voting for Republican House and Senate candidates. “The survey underscores the dangers for Democrats in the midterms if the Obama administration is perceived as mishandling the government’s reaction to the virus,” according to POLITICOOnly forty-three percent of likely voters who chose the Republican candidate also said that they had “a lot” or “some” confidence in the government’s Ebola response, whereas 81 percent of voters who chose the Democrat candidate did. 

The responses in the POLITICO poll are similar to those from a recent Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research poll of likely voters in Texas, where 47% said the Obama administration and the federal government “has done either close to nothing or nothing to keep Americans safe from the Ebola virus.”

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter at @rumpfshaker.


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