Nat. Review – Poll showing Marcy and Thompson a toss-up taken with grain of salt

This poll result is fascinating, but I’m taking a bit of salt with it . . .

Bennie Thompson’s congressional seat in the 2nd District has been considered “safe” so no polling has been done on the race until now. A recent poll conducted September 11-17 by a Baton Rouge, Louisiana firm, JMC Enterprises, indicates that the race with Bill Marcy is now considered a “toss-up.”

The poll of 441 people revealed that 81% consider themselves “pro-life” with 5% saying they were “pro-choice” and 14% undecided.

Thirty-two (32%) percent of those polled said they were satisfied with the job their current congressman is doing while 38% said they were not satisfied and 30% were undecided.

Thirty-five (35%) percent of the respondents said if the election were held today, they would vote for Bennie Thompson while 34% said they would vote for Bill Marcy, with 31% undecided.

They say “441 people,” which I’m interpreting as just “adults,” not registered voters or likely voters. In most polls, the more you tighten your screen for likely voters, the better your results appear for Republicans. But in this case, I can’t help but suspect that the screen would filter out a lot of undecided Mississippians who aren’t going to vote this year.

UPDATE: The great Sean Trende writes in, “Sample is 50-50 white/black. Turnout won’t be that way in November. On the other hand, ol’ Bennie had some close-ish races back in the day, so I’m not 100 percent dismissive of it.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: JMC Enterprises writes in and shares their memo, which adds more detail:

National Journal
9/22/10