by Craig Dimitri

In chilling news for Republicans nationally, Rep. Melissa Hart (R) is now in a statistical tie with her Democratic challenger, Jason Altmire, in Hart’s suburban/exurban Pittsburgh district.  An independent poll, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, shows Hart with a 46%-42% lead over Altmire.  That’s not good news for Hart, since the poll has a 4.9% margin of error – and so Altmire could conceivably be ahead.

Hart has always represented a Democratic district, initially winning the seat in a surprise upset thanks to outstanding get-out-the-vote efforts.  But at the outset of the year, this was not considered an at-risk GOP seat.  Earlier this week, the national Republican Party began funneling resources into the campaign, for two reasons.  One is the polling, both internal and independent, which shows that Altmire is a serious threat to take the seat.  The other is the weakening of other at-risk races, nationally.  Republicans likely believe that it is a better use of resources to protect Hart’s once-safe district, than to try to save marginal seats which are likely to fall to Democrats in any event. 

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


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