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Swing District Dem in Good Shape After Bucking Party on Health Care

Here’s the sort of polling Democrats haven’t seen much of in a few weeks. Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), a freshman who rode into a western North Carolina

Elisa Mueller
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 12, 2010

Here’s the sort of polling Democrats haven’t seen much of in a few weeks. Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), a freshman who rode into a western North Carolina district on the 2008 Obama wave, is comfortably ahead of several credible Republican challengers. Lou Huddleston, whom I spoke to for this story on black Republican candidates, is one of several opponents who trail Kissell by 14 to 18 points.

Kissell’s advantage, according to Public Policy Polling, is his vote against the health care bill.

Kissell’s no vote appears to have insulated him from some of the ill will toward national Democrats in the district. Despite winning it in 2008 Barack Obama’s approval rating now stands at a negative 47/50 there and Congressional Democrats get a 40/53 approval. Given that context Kissell is doing alright.

The congressman, once a hero of the netroots, irritated a lot of activists with that vote. But he’s the rare Southern non-Blue Dog in a swing seat who looks set to win in 2010.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.


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