GOP says internal poll shows Dent with big lead
Republicans say an internal poll of the 15th Congressional District race shows incumbent Republican Charlie Dent with a wide lead over his Democratic challenger, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan.
The poll, conducted by the Alexandria-based Tarrance Group, found Dent garnering 53 percent of the vote, compared to 27 percent for Callahan, according to a poll memo released by the National Republican Congressional Committee. Like other internal polling data released, the NRCC disclosed only the poll memo, not the full survey, making it impossible to independently evaluate.
In the telephone survey of 300 likely voters, 12 percent of respondents were undecided. The poll found Dent beating Callahan in his home base of Lehigh County by more than 20 points. And the NRCC sought to emphasize that Dent’s strong position was not just based on superior name recognition, saying that even among voters who “know” both candidates, Dent leads by 18 percentage points.
His 61 percent favorability rating underscores why Democrats have had a hard time knocking off Dent in recent cycles. With no primary, Callahan still has months to raise his numbers, and his been beating Dent in the money race. But even after being recruited by the White House, the latest numbers, if accurate, highlight the difficult road ahead for Callahan.
“If Washington Democrats still think Rahm’s hand-picked candidate John Callahan is one of their best bets, then I’ve got a ticket to sell them for Martha Coakley’s U.S. Senate swearing in ceremony,” NRCC spokesman Tory Mazzola said in a statement. “Charlie Dent is in a very strong position because Eastern Pennsylvanians know he is an independent voice fighting for jobs, limited government and less spending, while Callahan’s record speaks for itself—he’s a tax-and-spend Pelosi liberal.”
January 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm