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Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) Trails by 26

12:44 PM, Oct 17, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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A few weeks ago Congressman Tim Mahoney led his Republican challenger by 7 points, according to the challenger's own polls. Now he trails by 26:

A new Republican poll indicates Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) is the most endangered incumbent in the country days after a news report showed he paid a former mistress hush money.

The poll, released Friday and conducted for Republican Tom Rooney's campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), shows a big shift in the race, which Mahoney had been leading. He is now behind Rooney, 55 percent to 29 percent, with 16 percent of voters undecided.

House Democratic leaders are hoping to avoid any questions about Tim Mahoney, and what they knew about his affairs. As Politico reported last night, Minority Leader John Boehner is pushing hard to make sure that the Democratic leadership is properly investigated:

The Associated Press reported today that the FBI has begun a "preliminary investigation" into the Mahoney case. Both Mahoney and Pelosi have already called for a House ethics committee probe into the matter.

"I am requesting that you immediately take all steps necessary to ensure the offices of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Tim Mahoney, the Office of Compliance, and House Information Resources, as well as your own office, preserve and protect all documents, e-mails, electronic communications, transmissions, and the like related to allegations surrounding Ms. Allen's employment until an investigation into this matter is complete," Boehner said in a letter today to Pelosi, House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.). Clerk of the House Lorraine Miller and Chief Administrative Office Daniel Beard.