Pennsylvania: Challenger's Poll Shows Tim Holden Trailing

Rep. Tim Holden faces a competitive primary in two weeks. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BEAVER, Pa. — Rep. Tim Holden's challenger released a new poll today that shows the 10-term Congressman trailing his Democratic opponent just a few weeks before the Keystone State primary.

Attorney Matt Cartwright led Holden, 42 percent to 36 percent, in the poll paid for by Cartwright's campaign.

The survey is yet another indication that Holden's political future is on the line in the April 24 primary. Pennsylvania Republicans redrew the Congressional map last year, forcing Holden to seek re-election in a mostly new district.

Holden has only represented about a fifth of the redrawn 17th district during the past 10 years. What's more, the redrawn 17th district includes new urban areas in northeastern Pennsylvania, making it much more Democratic than the Blue Dog Congressman's current district, which is heavily Republican.

Recently, Holden's campaign started to target Cartwright in TV ads — a signal the Congressman has been forced to run an aggressive campaign.

Eric Nagy, Holden's campaign manager, said their own campaign polling showed the Congressman ahead — although he declined to give any more details about the survey.

"Our polling shows us up by 10 points, but we're not taking any chances," Nagy said. "We will run like we're down 10 points."

Cartwright's pollster, Marc Silverman of Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies, conducted the survey of 600 likely Democratic primary voters April 2-5.