The eyes of political pundits across the nation will focus the May 18 Special Election in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District. We Ask America first polled this race on March 16, and the same intrepid reader (Pat Garrett) suggested we look at it again to see how things have changed.
PA-12’s Special Election is the result of the passing of Congressman John Murtha. As we noted earlier this spring, the district is the only one in the nation that went for John Kerry in 2004 and then backed John McCain four years later. The area is rated an R+1 by the Cook Political Report.
The Democrats are pinning their hopes on Mark Critz, Murtha’s Chief of Staff. But Murtha faced some rough challenges in recent years, and some believe his Election Day mojo won’t transfer so easily. Republican businessman Tim Burns has proven to be a pretty decent candidate, and recent surveys showing a close race with mixed results.
The campaign in this race have become predictably testy. Critz is attempting to paint Burns as just another rich white guy who wants a national sales tax (an allegation Burns calls an out-and-out lie), while Burns has hit his opponent with accusations concerning questionable earmarks Murtha made which benefit a former Critz employer.
A Burns win here would certainly be hailed by the GOP as proof-positive that the country is rejecting the programs and mission of President Obama and Nancy Peolosi, while a Critz win would probably provide a sense of relief to Democrats who still are agog over some recent losses–especially in Massachusetts.
We asked 888 likely voters who their choice will be on May 18 (we identified each person by Party…Democrat Mark Critz & Republican Tim Burns). Here’ our results:
Pennsylvania CD 12 - Poll 2
Number of responses: 888
Margin of Error: ±3.29%