by Craig Dimitri

Over the weekend, challenger Patrick Murphy (D) was surrounded by a bevy of Democratic heavyweights – and so on Sunday, incumbent Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick brought in one of his own party’s marquee names: Senator John McCain (R-Ariz).  Moreover, McCain is very popular among Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans – in other words, precisely the voters Fitzpatrick must persuade to stay with his campaign when they enter the voting booth on Tuesday.

McCain and Fitzpatrick share another important political trait: a strong, distinct independence from the increasingly unpopular Republican President.  McCain has carved out his separate identity from Bush over the last six years.  Likewise, Fitzpatrick stresses his independence from the Bush administration, and his status as one of the Republicans who most often votes against the wishes of the Republican administration.

McCain’s visit underscores the importance that the Fitzpatrick/Murphy battle has attained, in the eyes of both national parties.  Democrats are poised to make large advances in the House, and the Republicans feel that Fitzpatrick is among the candidates most likely to ride out the Democratic hurricane, which all political observers expect on Tuesday.

Of course, McCain is widely viewed as the front-runner for the 2008 Republican nomination for President.  He gave President George W. Bush an unexpectedly spirited challenge for the GOP nomination in 2000, and his popularity across party lines would make him the Republicans’ strongest November 2008 candidate.  McCain’s visit to Pennsylvania on behalf of Fitzpatrick, is further groundwork being laid to help secure Republican support during the 2008 nomination process. 

McCain’s visit – 

Murphy official campaign site –

Fitzpatrick official campaign site –

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

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