GOP polling wasn't so great the last time around in PA-12, but the party is out with another internal poll showing their guy Tim Burns with a 5-point lead over Democrat Mark Critz.
In the survey, obtained by CQ Politics, Burns leads Critz 48 percent to 43 percent in a rematch of the May special election that was held to fill out the remaining term of the late Rep. John P. Murtha (D). In that contest, Critz defeated Burns 53 percent to 45 percent.
Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP polling firm, conducted the poll with 400 likely voters from Aug. 23-24. The survey has a 4.9 point margin of error.
This is the same firm that conducted polling for Burns during the special election and found Burns ahead by 2 points with two weeks to go. Burns spokesman Kent Gates said the competitive Democratic Senate primary increased turnout on the Democratic side enough that it matched the voter registration margin, which is 63 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican.
This time the polling firm weighted the survey to match registration, but still found Burns ahead.
UPDATE: From the Burns Critz camp:
The fact that they have no credibility when it comes to Western Pennsylvania politics isn’t stopping Tim Burns and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from trying to spin and sell some more partisan data. In an attempt to paint a better picture for their electoral prospects in November, Burns’ campaign and the NRCC released poll numbers from the same pollster who claimed they were going to win the special election back in May.
“You’ll have to excuse us for laughing but honestly, it’s impossible to take Burns, the NRCC, and their polling seriously,” said Mike Mikus, Congressman Mark Crtiz’s campaign spokesman. “These are the same people who told Tim Burns to leave $300,000 in the bank and not prepare a concession speech leading up to their 8 point loss on May 18th. Considering how things turned out the last time Burns and the NRCC claimed to have a lead in the polls, Mark is just going to stay focused on his work to bring jobs and economic development to Western Pennsylvania.”
The memo from Public Opinion Strategies is after the jump:
The following memorandum is based on a survey of 400 likely voters completed by Public
Opinion Strategies in Pennsylvania’s Twelfth Congressional District on behalf of the Tim Burns
for Congress Campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The survey was in the field August 23-24, 2010 and the margin of error on the survey is plus or minus 4.9%.
Party registration on the survey is 29% Republican - 63% Democrat.
• Tim Burns leads over Mark Critz 48%-43%.
• Mark Critz’ re-elect is 32% while 45% would rather have a new person.
These two factors alone make Mark Critz one of the most vulnerable Members of Congress.
• Tim Burns image has improved since the special election: 40% have a favorable
opinion of Burns while only 17% have an unfavorable opinion.
• In contrast, there may be some buyers’ remorse when it comes to Critz. While Critz
favorables have remained constant and similar to Burns (39%), his negatives have
remained high (26%).
• President Obama continues to be a huge detriment to Critz. Only 37% approve of
the President, while a full 59% disapprove. Moreover, 45% strongly disapprove of the