by Craig Dimitri
U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R)Â may not be able to hold off challenger Lois Murphy (D)Â in this rematch from 2004.Â The independent Reuters-Zogby poll released on Wednesday, Nov. 1, showed Murphy holding a 49%-44% lead over the two-term incumbent, just outside the 4.9% margin-of-error.
Gerlach (www.jimgerlachforcongress.com) is trying to get re-elected in a sprawling district which was carried by John F. Kerry in 2004.Â The poll was part of a group of 15 swing House districts throughout the nation,Â eleven of which showedÂ Democratic candidates ahead.Â It was sobering news for Republicans, who continue to hold off a Democratic push to take control of the House.
Despite literally millions of dollars spent on both sides, by the respective campaigns and the national parties, the Pa. 6th CD race has not changed much, since Zogby polled it on October 2.Â That poll, which was conducted by telephone of 500 likely voters, showed Murphy (www.loismurphy.org) with a narrow 43%-41% lead, well within the margin of error, and thus a statistical tie.Â She has gained a bit, but not much, since then.
The race has also been punctuated by what are known as “robocalls” – prerecorded phone calls which are used to attack a candidate.Â The Associated Press (in an article linked from lhttp://www.loismurphy.org/index.asp?p=5&h=108Â ) reported that some 6th CD residents, who are Murphy supporters, are complaining about receiving such anti-Murphy “robocalls” from the National Republican Congressional Committee.Â It went on to state that such targeted calls – although roundly denounced by candidates of both parties – are becoming a frequent last-minute weapon by both parties.
Reuters/Zogby – http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1191