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Pennsylvania 12th District

Candidates

John Murtha*

John Murtha* (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

William Russell

William Russell (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMurtha (D)Russell (R)Spread
Susquehanna10/21 - 10/21400 LV4641Murtha +5

Race Summary

As a Defense Appropriations subcommittee chairman, Rep. Murtha is a powerful member of the Democratic Caucus. He was also Speaker Pelosi's choice candidate for majority leader, though Murtha lost out to Steny Hoyer.

In 2006, Murtha had his closest election in more than 20 years, sparked by comments he made in May of that year that Marines had killed innocent civilians in an Iraqi town "in cold blood."

Interestingly, it's once again comments that appear to be giving the 17-term congressman his most competitive re-election contest yet. Ret. Army Lt. Col. William Russell, a Republican, is challenging Murtha in this western Pennsylvania district where 15% of voters are military veterans.

Murtha's comments that western Pennsylvania is a "racist area" doesn't appear to be sitting well with voters, as a poll released just after his comments went public showed him up by just 5 points.

Previous Election Results

House
2006: Murtha (D) 61, Irey (R) 39
2004: Murtha (D) unopposed
2002: Murtha (D) 73, Choby (R) 27

President
2004: Kerry (D) 51, Bush (R) 49
2002: Gore (D) 55, Bush (R) 44