Race In PA

The mood in Pennsylvania looks ominous for Dems as Republican Tim Burns leads Democrat Mark Critz in the race to succeed liberal Pork King Jack Murtha.

The Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday showed Burns topping Critz by three points, 44 percent to 41 percent, a lead just outside the margin of error. A month before voters pick a successor to the late John Murtha, Burns is faring well thanks to support from independent voters, who he wins by a 20-point margin, according to the poll. Burns is also attracting more votes from the other side of the aisle.
But look at the attitude toward incumbent Dems!
More than 40 percent of voters view each candidate favorably, with Burns enjoying slightly higher numbers. Only 33 percent of voters approve of President Obama, compared with 57 percent who disapprove. And in a finding that underscores why Critz has had to distance himself from the newly-enacted health care law, 59 percent of voters oppose the reform law. Combined with low approval ratings for Gov. Ed Rendell and Senator Arlen Specter, the poll reveals a political climate hostile to any Democratic candidate in the district, which narrowly backed John McCain for president in 2008.
There's better news from Chicago, where Dems don't expect to hold on to the seat the president held for four long years.
Sen. Dick Durbin slipped into the West Wing last week to ask Rahm Emanuel for White House help in saving Barack Obama’s old Senate seat. But he didn’t leave with any ironclad commitments.
At the moment, the White House seems open to the idea of losing Obama’s old seat rather than putting the president’s prestige on the line for Giannoulias, the brash and boyish Illinois state treasurer — and onetime Obama basketball buddy — whose campaign has been rocked by the financial meltdown of his family’s bank.
Is Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, and his finance family, just too damaged for Obama to back?
Only hours after federal regulators took over the failed bank that his family controlled, an emotional Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias took a big swig of water and labeled his day personally "devastating." Now Giannoulias must convince the White House and voters that it's not politically devastating as well.
In other words, they don't think it's winnable.