Burns Leads Critz in Internal GOP Poll

Posted September 2, 2010 at 11:19am

Republican Tim Burns holds a 5-point lead over Democratic Rep. Mark Critz in Pennsylvania’s 12th district, according to a poll conducted for the Burns campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In the survey, obtained by Roll Call, Burns led Critz 48 percent to 43 percent in a rematch of the May special election that was held to fill out the remaining term of the late Rep. John Murtha (D). In that contest, Critz defeated Burns 53 percent to 45 percent.

Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP polling firm, conducted the poll Aug. 23-24 with 400 likely voters. The survey has a 4.9-point margin of error.

This is the same firm that conducted polling for Burns during the special election and found Burns ahead by 2 points with two weeks to go. Burns spokesman Kent Gates said the competitive Democratic Senate primary increased turnout on the Democratic side enough that it matched the voter registration margin, which is 63 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican.

This time the polling firm weighted the survey to match registration, but still found Burns ahead.

“The fact that the electorate will be different in November, combined with Critz’s record of voting with Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi 94 percent of the time, puts Tim Burns in a strong position heading into the fall,” NRCC spokesman Tory Mazzola said.

Forty percent held a favorable opinion of Burns, while 17 percent viewed him unfavorably. As for Critz, 39 percent viewed him favorably and 26 percent unfavorably.

The poll found President Barack Obama’s approval/disapproval rating was 37 percent/59 percent. In the 2008 presidential race, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the 12th district by less than 1,000 votes.