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 pa2010.com 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.”
July 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm