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Internal Meehan poll shows Republican in strong position

Internal Meehan poll shows Republican in strong position

An internal poll conducted for Republican Pat Meehan’s congressional campaign shows the former U.S. Attorney in a strong position to win the fiercely competitive 7th District race against Democrat Bryan Lentz.

The survey, described in a poll memo provided to by a Meehan campaign adviser, appeared to contain few surprises. Meehan is significantly better-known than Lentz in the Delaware County district, after years on the local political scene and a stint as district attorney. And in a district where independents can swing elections, many voters, according to the poll memo, are more likely to support someone who will oppose President Obama’s policies. Those dynamics had led many political watchers and even Democrats to see Meehan as the favorite from Day One.

“Pat Meehan is well positioned to be the next Congressman from Pennsylvania’s 7th District,” Meehan campaign pollsters Tony Fabrizio and David Lee wrote in the memo. “Voters in this district want to elect a ‘check and balance’ to President Obama.”

The full survey cross-tabs and questions were not available, making it impossible to independently assess the merits of the poll. But it nonetheless illuminated a clear strategy for the Meehan campaign: If it can successfully paint Lentz, a two-term state Representative, as a “rubber stamp” for Obama, Meehan could fare well on Election Day.

The overall survey 400 likely voters in the district, conducted almost a month ago, found Meehan enjoying almost twice the name recognition as Lentz. Meehan has a 12-point lead over Lentz among voters who say they have definitely decided, according to the poll memo, while his advantage sits at 21-points if respondents who say they will “probably” support a certain candidate are included.

Almost two-thirds of respondents have never heard of Lentz, a dynamic his campaign will surely seek to change with a late-campaign advertising push. Almost 30 percent of respondents said they never heard of Meehan.

The poll had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

In a statement responding to the poll memo, Lentz campaign manager Vincent Rongione said: “Bryan Lentz is focused on people—not polls. Releasing skewed internal numbers is exactly the kind of political trick that voters are tired of, and sadly, it is exactly what we have come to expect from 30-year political insider Pat Meehan.”

Click here to see the poll memo.

July 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments [17] | post a comment

  1. Anonymous

    Jul 13th, 2010

    July 9, 2010

    Richard Brown

    General Counsel

    Delaware River Port Authority

    One Port Center

    2 Riverside Drive
    Camden, NJ 08101

    Dear Dick:

    Your lack of responsiveness to my multiple, repeated requests for information has eroded my patience. The memo today issued by Sen. Matheussen shed light on some of my longstanding issues, but only served to increase my level of frustration and prompt me to write this letter.

    In a face to face meeting two weeks ago in the Pennsylvania Caucus session, you promised me answers to my questions. You disrespected me in my role as a DRPA Commissioner and failed to deliver on your promise. Imagine, then, my shock to see you interviewed for a recent NJN investigative story on the DRPA in which you provided a news reporter with answers and a copy of the DRPA Management Report that I had requested numerous times, but still have not received. Your evasive on-camera performance offended me personally and was an embarrassment to the DRPA. The interview revealed your political paralysis and utter inability to fulfill the obligations of your position. Accordingly, I will be asking for your immediate resignation at the next DRPA board meeting.

    On numerous occasions, I requested information about the Human Resources Department of the DRPA, specifically the policies and procedures the department uses to hire new employees, including their geographic location, their position and commensurate salary, who hired them and when, and the length of time the job was posted. I also asked for any written policies, procedures, board minutes, inter-office memos, or other documents regarding the hiring practices and testing process of applicants for DRPA positions. I’m still waiting for that correspondence. I have also asked you repeatedly for the DRPA’s written policy regarding outside employment for DRPA employees. I finally received it today, although not from you but rather from Sen. Matheussen in a crisis communications response to the NJN investigative story.

    On another issue, you’ll recall that we DRPA Commissioners were told that Chief Borelli was terminated because he was featuring DRPA vendors as guests on his radio show. I later learned that DRPA executives routinely appeared on Borelli’s radio show. That is an indefensible double standard. Less than two months ago, Sen. Matheussen told me that the Borelli issue was done and there was no evidence of criminal activity. I asked you for copies of all correspondence between the DRPA and Borelli from the outset of the investigation until present. Once again, I am still waiting for that correspondence.

    The DRPA recently posted a job opening for an experienced grant writer. I understand that qualified DRPA employees applied for the position. Somehow, the DRPA opted to completely rewrite the original job posting to favor a politically connected New Jersey woman with no grant-writing experience whatsoever. In the illogical, politically wired world of the DRPA, she, of course, was awarded the contract, which included a salary greater than that originally posted for the position. Meanwhile, qualified, loyal DRPA employees were passed over.

    My repeated requests for information on the termination of John Lawless are well-documented. His termination and immediate, police escort from the building seemed especially heavy-handed. There are persistent, strong allegations that Lawless’ E-Z Pass was being used by someone else in the building. Why have we Commissioners not been updated on these issues and allegations? I understand that the case is now in litigation, but I have asked you numerous times in the past for more information on this situation and still have not received it. In the meantime, it has come to my attention that another DRPA employee was caught stealing petty cash and was terminated. Yet, because he’s politically connected, he was immediately rehired by the DRPA in another position. The inconsistencies in the DRPA’s Human Resources policies and practices are baffling.

    Furthermore, Sen. Matheussen assured me and my fellow Pennsylvania Commissioners that there would be no salary increases for DRPA directors in deference to the ongoing economic recession, yet you admitted on camera in the NJN story that you’d recently had your $9,000 annual car allowance rolled into your salary, thereby increasing your DRPA pension. It is unconscionable that anyone would use semantics to justify an abuse of the system.

    There are many other instances in which I’ve demanded answers and have been repeatedly stonewalled by you. I asked for information about the DRPA’s insurance policies, including the “True Up” commission provision, which I believe is unethical and probably illegal. I specifically asked for any and all written legal opinions on the controversial “True Up” provision and still have not received any correspondence or answers.

    I asked about selling some DRPA-owned land to improve our fiscal position. No answers. I asked about sub-leasing one of the DRPA’s 12 under-utilized floors to generate revenue or creating a “think tank” on one floor to help guide our future projects and investments. No answers. I asked for information on who was provided with E-Z pass transponders – and hit a raw nerve.

    I also asked for a copy of the Philadelphia Police report and the DRPA Police report on the death of DRPA Police Officer Christopher Milito, a good man whom I met on many occasions. I have questions about that evening’s DRPA police detail, assignments, staffing, etc. I have received numerous requests for information from the Pennsylvania State FOP and Philadelphia police officers about Cpl. Milito’s death. I have nothing to tell them since I have received no information from you.

    Ironically, on those handful of occasions in which the DRPA responded to and acted upon my suggestions – whether it was sub-leasing the billboards,

    or selling wall wraps, signage on cars, etc. – the ideas turned into positives for the DRPA. These positive developments have been all too rare, unfortunately.

    I cannot overlook or forgive the fact that you provided answers and a copy of the DRPA Management Report to a reporter while continuing to deny me – a DRPA Commissioner – the same information I’ve been requesting for months. Your stonewalling tactics border on conspiracy.

    Understand this: I ask all of these questions because I care about the port. My family emigrated from Ireland and made their home and their livelihood on Philadelphia ‘s waterfront. I was at the forefront of the efforts to secure dredging and the Southport project. Of the many boards I have served on over the years, I have never taken a dime for myself. I choose to serve on the DRPA board and other boards because I care deeply about the future of our region.

    I have many other serious concerns about DRPA partisanship, leadership, and the overall direction of the Authority, including the lack of transparency in too many facets of our operations. Rest assured that I will no longer tolerate any further delays or excuses regarding my legitimate requests for answers.

    Whether it’s malicious intent or gross incompetence on your part or the part of DRPA leadership is immaterial at this point. Those who are unwilling or incapable of fulfilling the important functions of their DRPA positions should be relieved of their jobs. The taxpayers of Pennsylvania and New Jersey deserve better and I intend to make sure they receive it.


    John J. Dougherty


    Cc: All DRPA Commissioners

    Governor Edward Rendell

    Governor Chris Christie

    State Rep. Bill Keller

    Sen. Donald Norcross

  2. 1994 Again

    Jul 13th, 2010

    As I’ve said before, this district will be an easy win for Republicans.

  3. David Diano

    Jul 13th, 2010

    please remove this anonymous posting that is off topic.

  4. Dem Guy

    Jul 13th, 2010

    The Meehan camp is claiming that they are polling at 47%? I doubt that’s true, but we’ll see.

  5. Byron Lentz

    Jul 13th, 2010

    Dear DCCC Strategists about to cut your losses and pull out from my race,

    Despite what you may hear, of these vague and unsubstantiated rumors of double digit polling leads and enormous fundraising advantages, I am not nearly as desperately in over my head as it may seem. Please take that into consideration when trying to decide if you will re-focus your resources allocated for my race on the 7,432 of your incumbents at risk this cycle.

    Best Regards,

    Byron Lentz

  6. Bummer

    Jul 13th, 2010

    Not a particular good week for Lentz. His campaign manager is off for greener pastures, he’s getting killed in polling data, and Meehan just raised another half a million dollars this quarter.

  7. Ryan_in_DelCo

    Jul 13th, 2010

    This district would have never went Democrat if it was not for Curt Weldon being a bizarre individual.

  8. debt to high

    Jul 13th, 2010

    Lentz is way behind and is a clueless candidate. Pat has more energy behind him and will have the courage to stand up to Pelosi and Obame. All Lentz will do is vote against gun rights and rubber stamp everything Obama and Pelosi want.

  9. sick of it all

    Jul 14th, 2010

    poll a month old? why wait til now to release? oh…lentz gonna get a bump from biden visit so try to preemptit iguess…since meehan paid for poll he should be winning it—love to see the questions and the sample…typical…pat must have burnth thru his fundraising people and is trying to shake the ree some more…Weldon had similar polls…I’ll wait until october to start worrying about polls and wait tosee polls frm reputable polling outfits

  10. please

    Jul 14th, 2010

    People can trash polls as much as they want. But if its a legit pollster, its a legit poll. Complaining that they are fudged numbers ignores the fact that pollsters would lose all credibility and their livelihood if they were to do that.

  11. sick of it all

    Jul 14th, 2010

    Where is the polling data, cross tabs, etc.? The questions are something else to look at is well, since a push poll was being run in the district by the republican backers of meehan about a month ago…can’t wait to see pat hug the mama grizzlie…drink some tea with the other pat..this is going to be fun!

  12. flynnbw

    Jul 14th, 2010

    -Interesting timing on the release of this poll … the Lentz campaign has won the press war for the last few weeks, and all of a sudden the Meehan folks get nervous and release an internal poll that was taken weeks before.

    I would expect about this result at this point in the game. Keep in mind that Bryan Lentz is a state representative — which means he represents only about 60,000 people (10% of the district). Pat Meehan served in county office and, more importantly, was the U.S. Attorney — which meant he was constantly on the Philadelphia TV news over the course of many years. It stands to reason that his name rec. is much higher than Rep. Lentz’s.

    As long as the Lentz campaign has enough money to stay competitive on the airwaves, he has an excellent shot at this seat.

  13. David Diano

    Jul 14th, 2010

    I ran an internal poll at my house. It showed Lentz ahead by 100%. There were no undecideds.
    These numbers have remained steady for the past six months.

    This story is like dog bites man. When a campaign releases an internal poll showing them behind, then that would be news

  14. Rick

    Jul 14th, 2010

    No surprise that Candidate A with 72% name recognition leads Candidate B with 39% name recognition five months before an election. These above gleeful posts read like the Specter posts in January. This race will go down to the wire. Lentz numbers will sky rocket in October after the Oxman media blast. As far as $, let’s see how much Lentz has Tuesday morning before we compare. Both will have enough to get their messages out.

  15. Tony Soprano

    Jul 14th, 2010

    David Diano —

    I took an informal poll among people I showed your post to. 100% agree: You’re a moron.

    Margin of error +/- 5%

  16. Anonymous

    Jul 14th, 2010

    Contrary to the national stuff I read, these are two not great candidates. Meehan is all fluff and hot air, no real strength to his numbers. Lentz has run a poor campaign, spent too much time bashing Meehan and foolishly getting rid of his primary opponents. Meehan is still the frontrunner, apparently because of name recognition, but if you put Andy Reilly in his slot, or even Kurt Weldon or a dead roadside cat, the numbers would pretty much be the same. Meehan can still be beaten if Lentz and his campaign ever get off their asses. But he needs to get going.

  17. E. Allen Snuffin

    Oct 7th, 2010

    How come this story doesn’t mention the results of Meehan’s internal polling from June. That showed that Lentz was down 21 points back in June. Now he’s only down 4? That’s a huge swing in momentum…

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