Murphy cuts Fitzpatrick's lead in suburban Philadelphia race

GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s lead over his Democratic opponent has slipped to just six points, according to a poll of the suburban Philadelphia district released Tuesday by Global Strategy Group, a Democratic polling firm.

Challenger Patrick Murphy is behind 44 to 38 percent, with 16 percent of voters undecided. In March, the gap was 14 points, but since then Murphy has increased his name recognition by 17 points. When pollsters gave respondents a fuller biographical sketch of Murphy, he led Fitzpatrick 55-36 percent.

Democrats are counting on voters’ widespread belief that the country is heading in the wrong direction to carry Murphy to victory. Fitzpatrick is well-liked on a personal level, but his support is “soft” — 42 percent of voters preferred a generic Democrat while 31 percent favored a generic Republican, the poll found.

Although Fitzpatrick won easily in 2004, Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOvernight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Pompeo faces pivotal vote MORE (D-Mass.) and Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreHamas attacks Israel — and the world condemns Israel Al Gore: Trump should fire Pruitt Dems seize on gun control heading into midterms MORE both won the district with 51 percent of the vote in their presidential races.