Houston Barely one of every five of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's constituents would vote for him if the election were held now, according to a newspaper poll released Saturday.
The Republican congressman, who lost his leadership post because of felony money laundering charges against him, trailed Democratic rival and former congressman Nick Lampson in his southeastern Texas district, according to the poll of 560 registered voters conducted for the Houston Chronicle.
In polling conducted Tuesday through Thursday, 22 percent of respondents said they would vote for DeLay, 30 percent chose Lampson and 11 percent favored Republican-turned-independent former congressman Steve Stockman.
Lampson's campaign manager, Mike Malaise, said the poll suggests that "people in the district want a congressman who will make headlines for the right reasons."
DeLay's spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty challenged the poll and said the result is "contrary to the strong support we're seeing for Congressman DeLay throughout the district."
In 2004, DeLay defeated relatively unknown Democrat Richard Morrison with 55 percent of the vote.
In the latest poll, only half of those who supported DeLay in 2004 said they would vote for him again.
The poll, conducted by Rice University and the University of Houston, has a margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.