Redstate has some stunning news for the Murtha campaign. A recent poll shows Diana Irey suddenly surging to within ten points of Murtha. It was not supposed to be anywhere near that close. For a candidate challenging a long-serving incumbent, it is always an uphill battle, but Irey is really pushing hard and Murtha is coasting.
When the Irey campaign did preliminary polling last spring, the results were not encouraging. The 30-year incumbent in the PA-12 seat, John Murtha, led the little-known Diana Irey by thirty points. Mr. Murtha was emerging as the liberal conscience of the Iraq war, and promised to gain ever more power and influence as part of the House Democratic leadership. He has high-profile influential friends and a bully pulpit provided by a compliant national media that gives him a regular spot on the Sunday shows.
If I were Commissioner Irey I might have considered throwing in the towel and going to the beach for the summer. Fortunately, she did no such thing.
Ms. Irey rolled up her sleeves and got to work. She has gained some recognition on her own as a staunch supporter of the armed forces, the mission in Iraq, an advocate for rigorous immigration policies and a fiscal conservative. She has also been drawing attention to Mr. Murtha's many failings. And she's producing results. The campaign has just commissioned another poll by Public Opinion Strategies and Ms. Irey has closed the gap to ten points as the race now stands at 55%-45%. She gained ten points and brought Mr. Murtha down ten–and the momentum is all in her favor.
That is a hefty gain. I'm not a big fan of cherry picking poll results, preferring to look at them in aggregate and for trends rather than data points. Diana Irey has a genuine trend going here. I can't find any other poll data with numbers at the moment, but interestingly, the trend data in a couple of places has PA-12 only as "leans Democrat" not as a safe seat. That may well be an important point. But do go read the polling data that explains the issues that has Murtha hearing the footsteps. When people are 40% or more less likely to vote for a candidate when they have heard about the issues, there's a problem. Murtha has one.
UPDATE: AllahPundit has the Abscam video up. Murtha indignantly refuses the Federal bribe. Until, he says, they bring a little business to his district. Then he might want to talk about it. Free PA has advice for the overconfident. Murtha Must Go with a post about Irey's call for stomping corruption, Diana Irey herself with the New York Times agreement that Murtha cheerfully sells his vote to the highest bidder, Heritage Foundation wails on Murtha for the same thing,.
UPDATE: FUNNIEST thing I have read this election cycle! The exact same people pushing the Foley scandal, CREW, are calling Murtha one of the most corrupt members of Congress! (Hat Tip to Quilly Mammoth).