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Pennsylvania - 8

Polling Data

PollDateSampleFitzpatrick (R)Murphy (D)Und.Spread
Global Strat. (D)10/29 - 10/30408 LV4146--Murphy +5
Morning Call10/25 - 10/27421 LV4742--Fitzpatrick +5
RT Strategies/CD10/24 - 10/26994 LV47503Murphy +3
Keystone Poll10/19 - 10/23400 LV483910Fitzpatrick +9
Grove Insight (D)10/15 - 10/15400 LV4044--Murphy +4
RT Strategies/CD8/27 - 8/291,006 RV53452Fitzpatrick +8
Global Strategy (D)7/10 - 7/12403 LV4438--Fitzpatrick +6
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(October 27) This has been one of the targeted Philadelphia suburban districts that Democrats had high hopes for earlier in the year. But similar to the Connecticut trio that have stood up surprisingly well as the GOP national numbers have deteriorated, the Republican incumbent in Pennsylvania’s 8th CD looks to be weathering the storm.

Mike Fitzpatrick is playing up his roots in the district and his service as Bucks County Commissioner for ten years, before winning the House seat in 2004, and has been pumping up his County Commissioner experience almost as much as his two years in Congress. What he is doing seems to be working as the Keystone poll released this morning shows Fitzpatrick ahead by a sizable 9 points, for a race that is supposed to be a toss up.

It is bad news for the Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy that Fitzpatrick is almost at the key 50% level and a near double-digit lead at the same time Rick Santorum trails by seven in the same survey. This race has been slowly dropping on RCP’s list of vulnerable seats for 4 -5 weeks now and before this poll was released came in at #23 on the House list. After today, it is liable drop further.

Given the toxic atmosphere for Republicans in eastern Pennsylvania, Fitzpatrick isn’t out of the woods completely, but at this late stage he looks to hold the advantage.

Mike Fitzpatrick (R)
Patrick Murphy (D)

Money Race

2004 Results
Fitzpatrick (R) 55
Schrader (D) 43

Kerry (D) 51
Bush (R) 48

(August 29) Mike Fitzpatrick, the Republican member from Pennsylvania’s Eighth District, is the second of three Philadelphia suburban members to find himself high on our list. His district is largely composed of the wealthy northern Philadelphia suburbs. This region has historically been Republican – but it went Democratic in both 2004 and 2000.

Fitzpatrick is now in his first term. He won the party’s nomination after the previous incumbent, Republican Jim Greenwood, announced his retirement after having won the primary. Fitzpatrick drew a lukewarm opponent – due entirely to the fact that the Democrats chose their nominee before Greenwood announced his retirement. And – despite his opposition to abortion and his support for Bush’s stem cell position (which held through the recent attempt at overturning it) – Fitzpatrick won with 55% of the vote. Fitzpatrick’s opponent, political novice and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy has managed to raise enough money to make this race competitive in the Fall. Fitzpatrick made news recently when he called Murphy and Bush’s Iraq policies “extreme.” Dick Morris must have been pleased. A Democratic-sponsored poll in July had Fitzpatrick up, but below 50% of the vote.