Weighed down in his district by low presidential favorability ratings and a health care law that’s unpopular there, Pennsylvania Democrat Mark Critz now trails by 6 percentage points in next month’s special election for the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha, according to a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll released Friday.
Critz, who served on Murtha’s staff before the congressman’s death, takes 40 percent of the vote in the poll compared with 46 percent for Republican businessman Tim Burns.
The congressional district has a decided Democratic registration advantage, but it was the only one in the country to support the Republican presidential ticket in 2008 after breaking for the Democrats in the previous presidential race.
The Cook Political Report recently moved this race from ‘Toss-Up’ to ‘Lean Republican’.
Here’s an excerpt of their report:
Republicans have no excuse to lose this race. The fundamentals of this district, including voters’ attitudes towards Obama and Pelosi, are awful for Democrats. And Democratic party registration advantages here are just as obsolete as GOP’s advantages in Upstate New York were last year.
And their conclusion:
At the moment, the dynamics of this race are in the GOP’s favor, and for now, we are cautiously moving it to the Lean Republican column. But if Republicans are unable to stick to an anti-Washington message or get off script, it could find its way back into the Toss Up column before Election Day.
The Early Returns Blog at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the full Cook report.