Lest there be doubt that Rep. Christopher Carney (D) is in the toughest race of his short political career, new polling released Tuesday showed the sophomore Congressman with a statistically insignificant 3-point lead over Republican challenger Tom Marino in the rural 10th district.
Carney got 43 percent to Marino’s 40 percent in the survey. Carney has trailed the little-known Marino in at least three other polls in recent weeks.
Lycoming College of Williamsport surveyed 370 likely voters Sept. 26-30. The poll had a 5.1-point margin of error.
“Carney’s votes for important portions of the Democratic legislative agenda appear to have eroded some of his support in this Republican-leaning district when compared to his 12-point victory two years ago,” said Jonathan Williamson, chairman of Lycoming’s political science department. “His support among the district’s independents is down about 10 percentage points compared to similar polling we conducted two years ago.”
The poll found that Carney is still popular in the sprawling district; 52 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the Congressman, while just 37 percent felt the same about Marino, the target of a growing wave of negative press in recent weeks over his resignation from the U.S. attorney’s office.
Republicans and Democrats alike seized on the poll results as evidence their respective candidate is in good shape just four weeks before Election Day.
“This latest poll is a sign that voters are tired of Chris Carney’s failed policies, such as the trillion-dollar stimulus bill and ObamaCare, which cuts Medicare benefits for seniors, raises taxes and hurts the region’s economy,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tory Mazzola said.
Carney spokesman Josh Drobnyk responded: “This poll confirms what we are seeing: Chris Carney is viewed much more favorably by voters throughout the district and does better than Tom Marino across party lines. ... What the poll doesn’t account for is the news over the weekend that Tom Marino was actually under investigation by the Justice Department for serious abuses of his authority at the time of his 2007 resignation as U.S. attorney. Every day seems to bring further news of Marino’s failed ethics and the latest revelation makes clear why he has continued to hide the truth from the people of the 10th district.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.