Friday, August 04, 2006

Pennsylvania 6: Challenger Murphy Leads in New Poll

A new poll for Democratic challenger Lois Murphy shows her leading GOP Cong. Jim Gerlach 42%-41%. While this is a statistical dead-heat, the results are significant given the President’s standing in the district and Gerlach’s far weaker position now than he was in his last race.

According to the July 27-29 Garin-Hart-Yang survey, district voters disapprove of the job President Bush is doing by a 2-1 margin. In comparison, Gerlach’s job approval stood at a weak 37% positive/46% negative. The congressman’s job rating in September of 2004, when Murphy faced Gerlach the first time, was a much stronger 45% positive and 30% negative.

Gerlach has little room for error in this race, since he defeated Murphy by a slim 51%-49%, a margin of about 6,371 votes, last cycle. Now, both Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and Senate nominee Bob Casey Jr. (D) are running strong at the top of the ticket in the district and should boost overall Democratic performance.

The race should be close to the end, but Murphy leads in cash-on-hand through June 30 and is well-positioned to move this suburban Philadelphia seat into the Democratic column.