Burns up in dead-heat special election in the 12th
Republican Tim Burns holds a narrow, almost statistically insignificant lead over Democrat Mark Critz in the looming special election in the 12th Congressional District, according to a new poll.
The Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday showed Burns topping Critz by three points, 44 percent to 41 percent, a lead just outside the margin of error. A month before voters pick a successor to the late John Murtha, Burns is faring well thanks to support from independent voters, who he wins by a 20-point margin, according to the poll. Burns is also attracting more votes from the other side of the aisle.
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.
“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.”
The survey of 1,197 likely voters had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
April 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm