Skip to comments.Poll indicates Barletta leading Kanjorski
Posted on 09/26/2010 6:30:38 PM PDT by Born Conservative
Poll results that show Lou Barletta with a decisive lead in the 11th Congressional District race did not come as a surprise to one local political analyst.
The second Times Leader 2010 Election poll, conducted by Critical Insights of Portland, Maine, shows that 43 percent of the 221 people polled favor Barletta, the Republican mayor of Hazleton, compared to 32 percent for 13-term Democratic incumbent Paul Kanjorski and 25 percent undecided. At the 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error for the 11th District was plus/minus 6.58 percent.
Jeff Brauer, 39, political science associate professor at Keystone College in LaPlume, said despite a high margin of error, Barlettas lead over Kanjorski only supports what hes believed since the May primaries.
I think this election was determined in the primary, Brauer said. Kanjorski had two opponents in the primary who each received 20 percent of the vote.
One of those Democratic opponents Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey OBrien spent a lot of money to try to unseat Kanjorski and the other Brian Kelly, a Marywood University professor from South Wilkes-Barre did not campaign much and spent nearly no money.
If they can garner those numbers against you in your own party, you cant win in the general election, Brauer said. And following the primary, I heard from people inside the Kanjorski campaign who said they basically conceded the general election when shown the primary numbers.
When told of the poll results the candidates had opposite reactions. Barletta was pleased, while the Kanjorski camp railed against the poll and its methodology.
These results mirror what I see as I travel around the 11th District and meet with residents, Barletta said. People are worried about the number of jobs weve lost, seniors are upset about the $500 billion Congressman Kanjorski cut from Medicare, and people are scared about the government takeover of our health care, and theyre holding Congressman Kanjorski to blame because hes been in Washington for 26 years.
While Im happy to see results of a snapshot like this, Im looking forward to Election Day, when we will see the results of the only poll that really matters.
Ed Mitchell, spokesman for the Kanjorski campaign, saw things quite differently.
This is a bogus poll, Mitchell said. Makes you wonder if The Times Leader didnt cook the numbers.
Mitchell said the sample used in the poll is too small to be meaningful. He said most professional polls would question twice as many people.
Thus, you have a margin of error of nearly seven percent, he said. Finally, the party registration of 42 percent Democratic and 42 percent Republican of those surveyed is equal, even though the 11th District has a 57 percent to 31 percent Democratic edge. And The Times Leader seemed to ignore 11 percent registered as other.
Last week, The Times Leader polled in the lieutenant governors race even though Pennsylvanians dont vote for lieutenant governor separately. He or she runs with the governor candidate as part of a team. The TL hasnt any credibility in the polling business and should just stick to printing papers.
Tom Baldino, political science professor at Wilkes University, agreed that the sample was too small and the margin of error too high to get a clear view of the race.
I think youre looking at a statistical dead heat, Baldino said. I would have to wonder just how close the election really is.
Baldino said the poll can be best used as a benchmark to compare future polls on the race.
Going forward, we will watch the changes in the numbers and compare them to see how they change and determine if there is any movement on the undecideds. Where those numbers go will affect the outcome of the election most dramatically.
Baldino said Barletta should be happy with the results, but he should realize they are not a clear indicator of where the race actually is. Baldino also said Kanjorski should realize he has a lot of work to do.
Baldino said the sampling should also reflect the Democratic edge in registered voters. He said the 11th District has historically been a Democratic stronghold, but in 2008, Kanjorski won by a margin of 4 or 5 percent. Baldino said that result puts the 2010 race in a competitive category.
I tend to favor the incumbent because its always an incumbents race to lose, Baldino said. But this is an election where incumbents are facing great challenges across the country.
Brauer said this election is becoming nationalized with many incumbent Democrats struggling to retain their seats.
The general electorate has this sense of which party they want, Brauer said. This time having a D next to your name is a liability. On top of that, Lou Barletta has grown in popularity and Kanjorski has had his own problems. People seem to be tired of the old guard and those with political connections. Kanjorski appears to be a sitting duck.
Brauer said voter turnout will again be key in the 11th District race and everywhere else.
Even though Democrats have such a large edge in registration, Republicans are more likely to come out to vote. I call it an enthusiasm gap because Democrats may stay home.
Brauer expects President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to get into campaign mode to help congressional candidates.
They have to get out and tell voters they have a choice to go back to the Bush policies of the past, or stay the course with Obamas plan, he said.
But Brauer said he thinks Barletta will win this time his third shot at Kanjorski and win by as many as 5 or 6 percentage points.
Check out post #1.
25% is a lot of undecideds.
Kanjorski barely won in 2008, year when Democrats had a huge advantage. If PA-11 had been an open seat this year, Democrats might have had a shot. But Kanjorski overstayed his welcome and he’s on the verge of being banished. This will be a welcome GOP pickup.
they still use that line?
Kanjorski-Barletta has to be at the top imo.
I think Dahlkemper is toast.
Meehan will win.
Carney is trailing.
Critz will, I think, be edged out.
Even Tim Holden has a tough race.
Altmire is in a relatively strong position but still a tossup.
Fitzpatrick should beat Murphy as long as the 'moderates' don't suddenly decide to show up and vote.
I think Barletta will win. He came within 4 points the last time, and that was when the economy was still decent, and before Kanjorski went way to the left (more-so than before).
Carney is in a conservative district that voted him in when the Republican rep was involved in a scandal. However, Marino is running an awful campaign, so it’s tough to choose that one. The other races I don’t know a whole lot about.
Awfully small sample size.
Barletta will beat Kanjorski. Mayor Lou lost 51.6% - 48.4% in 2008. Now, with a much more friendly atmosphere for the GOP, Barletta should win going away.
Kelly will beat Dahlkemper.
Meehan will beat Lentz.
Marino should beat Carney, but he’s running an underfunded, lousy race. Tossup.
Burns will lose to Critz. If he was going to win, he would have won the special election.
Fitzpatrick wins easily in Bucks County.
Holden wins easily. His opponent is a PA GOP hack, who is doing very little to win the seat.
Watch out for Keith Rothfus... he could surprise versus Altmire.
And in my district, Gerlach wins going away. Not sure if that helps us all that much, although he did promise me to vote to repeal Obamacare. These predictions are based on where we are today, provided there’s no game-changing event before the election.
This will be welcome indeed.
Kanjorski is a PUNK! Time to go!!