GOP Memo Claims 7-Point Edge for Fitzpatrick

August 26, 2010

A GOP-commissioned survey has found Republican Mike Fitzpatrick enjoying a seven-point lead ahead of his rematch against Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8), according to a new poll memo.

The poll memo, released Thursday by the Fitzpatrick campaign, describes a survey conducted by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the challenger’s campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The memo says Fitzpatrick is “well-positioned to retake” to Bucks County seat he lost to Murphy after one term in 2006.

In a survey of 400 likely voters conducted Aug. 22-23 with a margin of error of 4.9 percent, the poll memo says, Fitzpatrick garnered 48 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent. That means just over 10 percent of respondents said they were still undecided, an unusually low number more than two months before Election Day.

The full survey questions and crosstabs were not released, making it impossible to independently assess the merits of the poll itself. Murphy holds a significant advantage in campaign cash that will allow him to blitz the airwaves in the weeks before Election Day.

The poll memo claims that Fitzpatrick is holding an important edge with independent voters, 59 percent of whom view him favorably, compared to 48 percent of whom view Murphy favorably. Both President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are suffering from low job approval ratings in the district, according to the poll memo.

“Patrick Murphy’s electoral victories in this district came during the two best election years for Democrats in decades,” pollster Neil Newhouse wrote. “Now that the political winds have shifted, Murphy is seeing this recently-friendly district slip away. Voters have soured on President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and they’re looking for a Republican to provide a check and balance in Congress.”

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