According to Public Policy Polling, it appears that the race to fill John Murtha's House seat on Tuesday may come down to a photo finish. In the Democratic firm's final poll of the race, Republican Tim Burns and Democrat Mark Critz are neck and neck: 48% to 47%.
One sign that Burns has the edge: "among voters who say they're 'very excited' to vote in this election, Burns has a 60-38 lead." And Burns has a net favorability of +8 while Critz's net favorability is -6.
But one advantage for Critz: Democratic turnout in the western Pennsylvania district may be boosted by a competitive Democratic senatorial primary between Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter (Pat Toomey has no serious competition for the GOP nomination).
PPP's poll shows that support for Obama has dropped significantly in Pennsylvania's 12th District, which narrowly voted for McCain over Obama, 50% to 49%, in 2008. Now, according to PPP, only 35% approve and 55% disapprove of the job Obama's doing, and 58% of voters oppose Obamacare while 30% support it.
Critz, the Democrat, claims that he opposes Obamacare, but wouldn't vote to repeal it. As Jay Cost says, "If the Republican party is to retake the House of Representatives in November, it will have to expose these Democrats for what they are—Pelosi loyalists who say one thing on the campaign trail and then do another on Capitol Hill."