With two weeks to go before Election Day, freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) must overcome a double-digit deficit if he wants to see a second term, according to a new Monmouth University poll released Thursday.The Monmouth survey, which was in the field Oct. 16-19, showed Republican state Sen. Andy Harris ahead 53 percent to 42 percent, with 5 percent undecided. The poll of 637 likely voters had a 3.9-point margin of error.In their 2008 race, Kratovil earned a narrow victory against Harris by running up his margin on Marylands Eastern Shore and using that lead to balance out the state Senators strong showing on the Western Shore. Thursdays Monmouth poll showed Harris leading by 6 points on the Eastern Shore and by 16 points on the Western Shore not a good sign for Kratovil.Prior to 2008, this seat was safely in the Republican fold. It looks like it will revert to form in 2010, Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, wrote in his polling memo on Thursday.But at a breakfast event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, who also hails from Maryland, ticked off several reasons why he believes Kratovil will be coming back for the 112th Congress.No. 1, Frank Kratovil is ahead by a few points. No. 2, the early returns are positive. No. 3, Andy Harris is the same guy who lost last time so hes a retread. He hasnt changed his extreme views, Van Hollen said. I think people are looking for someone who is interested in solving problems not on an ideological crusade.The DCCC has so far spent more than $1.1 million on independent expenditures in the 1st district this cycle. The National Republican Congressional Committee is approaching half a million dollars in spending on the race.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.