We may be on the verge of a great disappointment for Republicans. While no one doubted that the demographic challenge facing Republican Tim Burns in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district, a variety of factors appeared to be working in his favor: the national mood, the usual GOP advantages in a special election, an advantage in fundraising, the broad support of national conservative groups, and polling that indicated a small but regular lead.
Tonight, Burns has not yet led Democrat Mark Critz; Critz is overperforming Obama – who narrowly lost the district – in most of the precincts that have reported. Critz, in fact, is running ahead of John Murtha’s numbers in 2008 in certain precincts.
The NRCC, and Republicans nationwide, expected a great deal more from Tim Burns; at the very least, the stage was set for him to outperform all Republicans running for the House in this district in recent memory. The remaining precincts should be favorable to Burns, but the numbers are looking very tough at this point in the evening.