District by district - Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA-11

Rep. Kanjorski down by five

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) trails Republican Lou Barletta, 43 percent to 48, in The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll, with 8 percent of likely voters undecided.

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Barletta gets 23 percent of Democratic support and is winning independents by 33 points. He’s also winning male and older voters. Kanjorski is getting 12 percent of GOP support and winning among female and younger voters. The two candidates split middle-aged voters, taking 45 percent apiece.

Voters are split on their opinion of the incumbent: Forty-seven percent rate him favorably, while 47 percent rate him unfavorably. Barletta has 52 percent favorability, with 38 percent giving him low marks.

Kanjorski has faced Barletta twice before — in 2002 and 2008. In 2002, he beat him by 13 points. And, in 2008, polls showed Kanjorski trailing Barletta by as many as five points, but he won by four points in the Democratic-leaning district.

Kanjorski is No. 2 on the House Financial Services Committee and is known for his ability to bring money to the district. The New York Times called him a “master of earmarking.”

That could come back to hurt him. When asked if they’d rather have a member of Congress who’d cut spending or one who would bring benefits to the district, 55 percent said they’d prefer a lawmaker who cut spending while 39 percent said they’d prefer benefits.

President Obama carried the district in 2008, but 51 percent gave him low marks. And 67 percent said the president will be an important factor in their decision this year.

Barletta has attacked the 13-term incumbent for his length of service. In a Barletta campaign ad, the narrator states: “Know a guy who wears out his welcome? Paul Kanjorski has just been around too long.” It may prove an effective message; 46 percent said Kanjorski’s time in Washington is a reason to vote against him.

Kanjorski has brought in the big guns in the form of former President Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden to campaign for him. He’s also outraised and outspent Barletta, but the Republican Party has outspent the Democratic Party.

The NRCC has spent around $901,000 on this race, while the DCCC has spent more than $400,000.

The Hill poll was conducted Oct. 19-21 by Penn Schoen Berland. The survey consisted of 402 phone interviews among likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

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The Hill 2010 Midterm
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- About the poll
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