The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Monmouth Poll Suggests the Looming End of Murphy’s Law


A lot of readers have wanted to see some numbers on the Irish Rematch in suburban Philly, Fitzpatrick vs. Murphy.

The Monmouth University poll gives some good news for the GOP:

In a rematch of the 2006 election for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, Republican Mike Fitzpatrick holds a 5 point lead over incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy. The Monmouth University Poll finds Fitzpatrick leading Murphy by 51% to 46% among likely voters in this district.

Murphy has served two terms in the House and originally attained the seat by defeating the then-freshman incumbent Fitzpatrick by just 1,500 votes. Murphy went on to win re-election by 15 points in 2008.

. . . Overall, 65% of voters in Pennsylvania’s 8th District think the country is on the wrong track compared with 31% who say it is headed in the right direction.

President Barack Obama won this district by 9 points in 2008. Today, though, 8th District voters give him a negative job performance rating of 40% approve to 55% disapprove. Among those who voted for Obama two years ago, 81% say they will vote for Democrat Murphy, but 16% will cast their ballots for Fitzpatrick on November 2. By comparison, 93% of John McCain voters from 2008 will support GOP nominee Fitzpatrick, versus just 7% who will vote for Murphy.

District voters are somewhat more likely to prefer having the Republicans (47%) rather than the Democrats (40%) in control of Congress next year. They split on their overall view of the Republican Party — 44% favorable to 47% unfavorable — but have a dimmer opinion of the Democratic Party — 39% favorable to 54% unfavorable. The Tea Party movement is also viewed negatively by voters in general — 42% favorable to 49% unfavorable.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by automated telephone interviewing with 646 likely voters from October 11 to 13, 2010. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.9 percent.

I think the number that jumps out at me the most is the 16 percent of Obama voters supporting the Republican.

Tags: Mike Fitzpatrick , Patrick Murphy


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