PPP: Burns by three

April 20, 2010

Republican businessman Tim Burns holds a three-point lead in next month’s special election for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.PPP shows Burns leading Democrat Mark Critz, a former aide to the late Rep. John Murtha, 44 percent to 41 percent. Burns also has a higher net favorability rating than Critz: 45 percent of voters view him favorably and 26 percent view him unfavorably, compared with 41 percent who have a favorable view of Critz and 34 percent who have an unfavorable view.

Burns’s edge in the district, where Democrats hold a significant voter registration advantage, appears to stem in part from strong voter dissatisfaction with the Obama administration.

The poll found that only a third of voters in the district view the president favorably and just 28 percent support the health care reform law. Other Democrats were similarly unpopular: Sen. Arlen Specter had a 28 percent favorability rating and term-limited Gov. Ed Rendell scored just 24 percent on that scale.

PPP pollster Dean Debnam had a dire prognosis for Democrats in the district: “It’s going to be somewhat amazing if Mark Critz wins this race given the way voters in his district feel about Barack Obama.”

Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey leads Specter by 10 points in the district, according to the poll.

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