Dissatisfaction with Dems buoys Republican in Murtha special election

Republicans bring a small lead into the final month of the contest for the late Rep. John Murtha's (D-Pa.) seat, according to a Public Policy Polling survey.

The Democratic-leaning pollster found businessman Tim Burns (R) leading former Murtha aide Mark Critz (D) 44-41, thanks to an electorate that is upset with the recently passed healthcare bill, President Obama and the Democratic leadership.

Obama's is approved by 33 percent of voters and disapproved by 57 percent. Slightly less (28 percent) approve of the healthcare bill, and less than a quarter (24 percent) approve of Gov. Ed Rendell (D).

Burns uses those advantages to build a 51-31 lead among independents and grab twice as much crossover support as Critz.

Though the district is heavily Democratic, it's clear that it's a different brand of Democrat than exists elsewhere. Less than half -- 43 percent -- of them approve of the healthcare bill, and just 50 percent approve of Obama.

A GOP poll obtained by The Fix on Tuesday also showed a statistical tie in the race, with Critz maintaining a 40-39 lead.