by Craig Dimitri

More bad news for incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.  In a poll taken for the Mike Fitzpatrick (R)/Patrick Murphy (D) U.S. House race, the results indicated that Santorum is in terrible danger in GOP-friendly Bucks County, which comprises nearly all of the 8th Congressional District.

Voters in the 8th District, the northern suburbs of Philadelphia, responded to the Keystone Poll – from G. Terry Madonna at Franklin & Marshall College – that their partisan affiliation was 50% Republican, 40% Democratic, 8% independent.  Obviously, Bucks is a county that Santorum must win in order to save his seat – but these same voters clearly prefer challenger Bob Casey, Jr.  The respondents favored the Democrat to Santorum, 47%-40%, with 13% undecided.  This is a virtual mirror image of their partisan breakdown, with Casey clearly receiving significant Republican support in Bucks County.

The silver lining for Santorum comes in the 17% of the electorate, who have not absolutely made up their mind as to their decision.  Note: These 17% of respondents are considered “leaners”, when asked as to the certainty of their vote: they are not the “13% undecided” referred to above.  Among those who are still on the fence, more are for him than for Casey: 30% of “leaners” lean toward Santorum, 23% lean to Casey, with 47% leaning neither way.

Nonetheless, this is obviously not welcome news for either Santorum or the national party.  Of the 33 seats up this cycle, there are only eight – the “Big Eight”, currently in significant likelihood of changing party control.  Six are incumbent Republicans, one is a currently GOP open-seat, one is an incumbent Democrat.   Democrats must make a net gain of six seats to take control, 51-49.

The full results of the Keystone Poll can be found at 

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at 




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