GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Rep. Justin Amash, (R) and challenger Steve Pestka, (D) are officially in a dead heat for the 3rd Congressional race with just two weeks left before the November General Election.
The Glengariff Group conducted the poll and is the official polling service this election season for WZZM 13, WDIV and the Detroit News.
Here's how the numbers break down:
Steve Pestka 34.9%
Justin Amash 33.8%
Pestka's 1.1 point advantage is within the 4.9% margin of error. With 28.5% of the 400 respondents "undecided", the race is truly a dead heat. Geographically, Pestka holds the advantage in Grand Rapids and Calhoun County, while Amash leads in Kent County outside of Grand Rapids, and in Barry County, Ionia County and the portions of Montcalm County that fall inside the district.
Steve Pestka 56.0%
Justin Amash 28.0%
Don't Know 15.0%
Kent Co. (not Grand Rapids)
Justin Amash 43.0%
Steve Pestka 30.3%
Don't Know 24.7%
Barry Co., Ionia Co. & Parts of Montcalm Co.
Justin Amash 36.7%
Steve Pestka 20.6%
Don't Know 38.2%
Steve Pestka 29.7%
Justin Amash 18.9%
Don't Know 44.6%
Congressional redistricting added Calhoun County to the 3rd District, and voters in the south area apparently do not know much about either Amash or Pestka. With the whopping 44.6% undecided voters in Calhoun County and 38.2% undecided voters in Barry and Ionia Counties, the race is far too close to predict.
Glengariff Group pollster Richard Czuba found that "perhaps most worrisome to the incumbent Justin Amash is that Steve Pestka holds a 40.0%-31.8% lead among senior citizen voters and a 37.3%-32.2% lead among voters aged 50-64 years old."
Also troubling for Republicans, in the 3rd Congressional District, the poll found that President Obama holds a narrow lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 44.1% to 41.5% with 9.3% of voters undecided. President Obama narrowly defeated then-Republican candidate John McCain in the 3rd Congressional District in the 2008 election.