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Monmouth University Polling Institute

CD01: Harris v. Kratovil

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Republican challenger holds 11 point lead

In a rematch of the 2008 election for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, Republican challenger Andy Harris holds an 11 point lead over Democrat incumbent Frank Kratovil.  The Monmouth University Poll  finds the race stands at 53% for Harris to 42% for Kratovil.

This district is comprised of nine counties that make up Maryland's Eastern Shore plus parts of three other counties in the Baltimore area.  In 2008, the same two candidates vied for an open seat - open due to Harris' defeat of incumbent Wayne Gilchrest in the GOP primary.  In that race, Kratovil won a narrow victory by racking up an 11 point margin in his native Eastern Shore to offset Harris' 12 point advantage in the western part of the district.  That scenario is unlikely to play out this year.  The poll finds Harris with an advantage in both the eastern (50% to 44%) and western (56% to 40%) portions of the district.

"Prior to 2008, this seat was safely in the Republican fold.  It looks like it will revert to form in 2010," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Congressman Kratovil's job performance rating among likely voters in his district is decidedly negative at 34% approve to 49% disapprove.  He garners personal ratings of 37% favorable to 44% unfavorable.  In contrast, 45% of voters give Harris a favorable rating and 36% an unfavorable one.

Fully 3-in-4 (76%) 1st  District voters think the country is on the wrong track, and most give President Barack Obama negative (64%) rather than positive (32%) job performance ratings.  Voters here are also much more likely to prefer having the Republicans (58%) rather than the Democrats (31%) in charge of Congress next year.

The Democratic Party is viewed favorably by just 33% of voters in Maryland's 1st  District and unfavorably by 62%.  The Republican Party fares much better at 51% favorable to 41% unfavorable.  The Tea Party movement also gets mostly positive reviews, with a rating of 52% favorable to 37% unfavorable.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by automated telephone interviewing with 637 likely voters from October 16 to 19, 2010.  This sample has a margin of error of ± 3.9 percent.

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

1.     If the election for United States Congress from Pennsylvania’s 6thCongressional District were today, would you vote for Jim Gerlach the Republican or Manan Trivedi the Democrat?   [At this moment, do you lean toward Jim Gerlach or lean toward Manan Trivedi?]  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]


2.     Is your general opinion of Jim Gerlach favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Jim Gerlach?  

3.     Is your general opinion of Manan Trivedi favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Manan Trivedi?

4.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job Jim Gerlach is doing as your Congressman?

5.     Are things in the United States going in the right direction or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

6.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?

7.     Who would you rather see in control of Congress next year – the Democrats, the Republicans, or does it make no difference?


8.     Is your general opinion of the Democratic party favorable or unfavorable?  

9.     Is your general opinion of the Republican party favorable or unfavorable?

10.   Is your general opinion of the Tea Party movement favorable or unfavorable?


The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.  The poll was conducted on October 18-20, 2010 with a random sample of 642 likely voters in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District.  The sample was drawn from a list of households with voters who cast ballots in at least two of the last four general elections and further screened for those who say they are either “certain” or “likely” to vote in this November’s election.  The voter list was obtained from Aristotle, Inc. and automated voice interviewing services were provided by Survey USA in Clifton, New Jersey. 

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.  

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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