DALLAS - A new poll of a competitive Dallas congressional race shows the Democratic challenger ahead of a longtime Republican incumbent.
A New York Times Upshot/Sienna College poll found Colin Allred with a four-point lead on Pete Sessions, 46-42. Nine percent of voters said they were undecided. The race is one of the most-watched congressional contests in the nation, as Democrats hope to capture the seat as part of their efforts to retake the U.S. House.
The poll was conducted Oct. 29 – Nov. 4 and surveyed 477 people, with a margin of error of +/- 4.7. A previous NYT/Sienna poll about a month ago had Sessions up 1 point.
Sessions is facing his first serious challenge in more than a decade. Democrats decided to make a serious effort in the 32nd Congressional District after it went for Hillary Clinton by two points in 2016.
“The only poll that matters, of course, is what’s going to happen when the polls close tomorrow,” Allred said.
Allred thanked his volunteers on Election Eve as they called to secure more volunteers to work Election Day.
Sessions didn’t address the poll results and only gave a smile. Instead, he talked about health care, the dominant issue in the heated race. Allred wants more government involvement in hopes of lowering the cost of health insurance.
“A government-run system that would allow no competition,” Sessions said. “No free enterprise healthcare would be allowed in the country because they would outlaw it only for government-run healthcare.”
Sessions has introduced his own health care bill, which is a partial repeal of Obamacare. It did not cover pre-existing conditions.
Last month, Sessions authored a resolution, signed by several House Republicans, to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
“At the last second, you try to put forward a cynical, non-binding resolution to say you protect pre-existing conditions, the way Congressman Sessions has done, after voting over 50 times to repeal those protections,” Allred said. “I think people see through that.”
Sessions called Republican voters personally Monday night, feeling confident.
“We still have about 28 percent of Republicans who are going to vote for the Republican Party and for me who have not yet voted,” Sessions said. “And that is what Tuesday will be about.”
The poll has some ominous warning signs for Sessions. It found independents in the district breaking for Allred by a 20-point margin, 51-31. It also found Allred winning both men and women in the district, by 2 points and six points, respectively.
President Donald Trump’s approval rating within the district is also underwater. It found 51 percent of people polled disapproved of Trump’s performance in office, with just 44 percent approving.
Sessions has represented the 32nd since 2003 and has been in Congress since 1997.