Could Murtha Be Beaten? Theoretically, Yes

From The Tribune Democrat:

“Despite Murtha’s stance, his re-election is virtually guaranteed, said G. Terry Madonna, a political analyst at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

“Of all the districts in Pennsylvania, it’s not on anybody’s watch list – not either party, not independent chroniclers,” Madonna said. “They’ve conceded it. There’s no evidence that I’ve seen that (the war) is a serious factor in his re-election effort.”

…Murtha said his office has not done any polls of the heavily Democratic district yet, But he says that 70 percent to 80 percent of Democrats support his position nationally.”

I’ve heard a lot of talk about how supposedly overwhelmingly Democratic John Murtha’s district is, but it only went for Kerry 51-49 in 2004. If that’s what passes for “heavily Democratic” these days, the Democrats are going to go the way of the Whigs.

The strident anti-war stance Murtha has taken over the last year or so makes him vulnerable and it certainly is possible that his photogenic opponent, Diane Irey, could take him out.

However, as of early July, she wasn’t even coming close to raising the sort of money she’d need to beat Murtha:

“Mr. Murtha had raised nearly $2 million and had $1.3 million in cash on hand. Ms. Irey had about $26,000 after raising $74,000.”

Part of the problem is that to the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any polls taken yet in the district. What Irey needs is a poll that puts her upper thirties or lower forties, something that will let people know she’s in the game. If that happens, then maybe she can get enough money rolling in to be able to compete.

If that doesn’t happen this year, but Irey can at least come closer than people expect, then there’s always 2008. However, it sure would be nice to see her knock off Murtha this year…

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