Lois Frankel, Adam Hasner congressional race close, exclusive WPTV poll shows

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel (D) holds a slim, three-point advantage over former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R) in the District 22 race, according to a new WPTV/FL Democracy 2012 poll released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found Frankel leading Hasner by a 47 percent to 44 percent margin with nine percent undecided. The poll's findings are the latest indication that the Democratic-leaning district, which stretches from northern Palm Beach County to mostly eastern Broward County, could be a pick-up opportunity for Republicans.

The same poll found President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in the district by a 51 percent to 44 percent margin.

CLICK HERE FOR FRANKEL/HASNER DEBATE: bitly link: http://bit.ly/R4sXqU

Frankel is viewed favorably by 34 percent of those surveyed while 31 percent have an unfavorable view of the Democrat. Meanwhile, 31 percent of likely voters polled have a favorable opinion of Hasner and 27 percent have an unfavorable view of the Republican congressional hopeful.

The survey found a significant gender gap, with 54 percent of female voters supporting Frankel and 38 percent supporting Hasner.  Among men in the district, Hasner leads 50 percent to 39 percent.

Frankel has the edge among independents and other voters not affiliated with a major party, who broke for the Democrat by a 47 percent to 41 percent margin. She also leads among African-Americans by a 74 percent to 17 percent margin and among Hispanics by a 54 percent to 38 percent margin.

"The race is close, but we find Frankel edging Hasner thanks to leads with independent voters, women and minorities," said Jim Williams, a polling analyst at Public Policy Polling.

In a potentially troubling sign for the Frankel campaign, the poll has Hasner leading in Frankel's Palm Beach County turf--home to a majority of the district's population. Hasner is beating the former West Palm Beach mayor by a 47 percent to 43 percent margin in Palm Beach County, while Frankel is leading Hasner by a 50 percent to 41 percent margin in the Broward portion of the district.

Asked about the flood of negative ads in the race, most voters—45 percent-- said the political spots have not affected how they will vote in November.  Twenty-six percent said the spots have made them more likely to vote for Frankel and 25 percent said the ads have made them more likely to for Hasner.

The party identification breakdown for the poll was 42 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican and 23 percent independent/other. The breakdown mirrors that of the district, where Democrats have a 40 percent to 31 percent edge over Republicans.

The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted from October 15-16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percent.

The majority of the district is in Palm Beach County (about 61%). However, the poll sample was comprised of 51% Broward voters and 49% Palm Beach County voters.

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