One of the more unusual twist in a year of fairly stunning political circumstances can be found in the race for former Congressman John Murtha’s seat left vacant by his death earlier this year. Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district, a seat which was held by Murtha for 36 years.
The winner of this currently open seat may find that he is a lame duck the same day he is elected to office if he does not survive his primary. Wierdly enough although he may win the special election, should he lose the primary even though he is the incumbent he may not run for the office in the fall. Even more bizarre the special election is on the same exact day as the states Primary, May 18th.
A McLaughlin poll (R) from Washington Post reports that it has "obtained" calls the race within the margin of error in the race to replace Jack Murtha between former Murtha aide Mark Critz and Republican businessman Tim Burns.
Mark Critz (D) -- 40%
Tim Burns (R) -- 39%
Another poll performed by Public Policy Polling -- who have a good track record with their public polling -- shows the Republican ahead:
Tim Burns (R) -- 44%
Mark Critz (D) -- 41%
The election will be held May 18, the day of the Pennsylvania primary.
And on this map it is listed as a toss up.
It is certainly just a bit more than quirky, from the article quoted below it is clear that the race is within the margin of error. And what is more surprising, according to this article:
“More than 40 percent of voters view each candidate favorably, with Burns enjoying slightly higher numbers. Only 33 percent of voters approve of President Obama, compared with 57 percent who disapprove. And in a finding that underscores why Critz has had to distance himself from the newly-enacted health care law, 59 percent of voters oppose the reform law. Combined with low approval ratings for Gov. Ed Rendell and Senator Arlen Specter, the poll reveals a political climate hostile to any Democratic candidate in the district, which narrowly backed John McCain for president in 2008.”
Even more entertaining, was Frank’s feedback comment from the same article:
Wow, these numbers are horrible for Democrats! Obama has a 33% approval rating in the 12th! Specter at 28%. Rendell at 24%. 28% support Obamacare. And this is a district where Democrats have a 2-1 voter registration advantage! No wonder Critz put out an ad denying the charge of being a liberal, haha.”
For us the good news is that President Obama’s magic has definitely worn off as qouted from the same article, … “It’s going to be somewhat amazing if Mark Critz wins this race given the way voters in his district feel about Barack Obama,” said Dean Debnam, the president of Public Policy Polling. “His low ratings are something a long time incumbent like Murtha might have been able to weather, but you wouldn’t expect Democrats to win an open seat anywhere that gives Obama an approval rating under 40 percent. Still, it remains a toss up with a month to go before the election.”