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Kratovil's poll shows him leading rematch with Harris in 1st district

Ben Pershing

Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) is leading in a potential rematch with state Sen. Andy Harris (R) in Maryland's 1st district, according to a new poll conducted for the Democrat's campaign.

Kratovil's survey -- conducted among likely voters June 15-16 by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group -- gives him a 44 percent to 39 percent lead over Harris, whom Kratovil beat by fewer than 3,000 votes in 2008. Seventeen percent of respondents were undecided in the poll.

The narrowness of Kratovil's victory two years ago and the unusual circumstances behind it -- Harris beat incumbent Wayne T. Gilchrest in the GOP primary, and then Gilchrest endorsed Kratovil -- make Republicans believe they can take back this seat in November. It has traditionally tilted toward the GOP, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the district by 19 points in the 2008 presidential campaign, even as President Obama captured the state with ease. The nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report rates the race as "Lean Republican."

But Democrats argue that Kratovil is doing what he must to build support in the district, which includes Maryland's Eastern Shore as well as suburbs north and south of Baltimore. Kratovil voted against Obama's health-reform bill in March, though he voted for the "cap and trade" energy bill a year ago this week.

"One important factor in Congressman Kratovil's positive showing in the trial heat is his ability to draw support outside his Democratic base," reads the Garin-Hart-Yang memo summarizing the poll's results. The memo adds that Kratovil leads Harris among both independents and "moderate" voters, and in both the district's media markets -- Salisbury and Baltimore.

The results of Kratovil's survey differ from those of the last publicly released poll. A survey taken in late April by Public Opinion Strategies for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group, showed Harris ahead 39 percent to 36 percent, with 6 percent of respondents favoring Libertarian Richard Davis.

Harris officially filed his papers Tuesday to run for the seat, but his path to the nomination is not clear. Rob Fisher, the wealthy founder of a cybersecurity firm, is also gunning for the GOP nod. He is on the air with television ads now and has pledged to stay on the air through the Sept. 8 Sept. 14 primary.

By Ben Pershing  |  June 23, 2010; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Ben Pershing  
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I congratulate Kratovil for also voting nay to H R 4872 Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Nonetheless, 86% of Kratovil's votes are with the Democratic party's agenda. As such, his seat needs to be returned to a republican.

Posted by: hungrypirana | June 23, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The primary is September 14th.

Posted by: smith11 | June 23, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

hungrypirana ...
The seat doesn't belong to a Republican, and in fact the 1st District has more registered Democrats than Republicans. We tend to vote the "man" and not the Party. We like our Congress critters to be moderates regardless of Party.

If the GOP had let the moderate Republican continue to serve, then they would still hold the seat, but there is no way this District is going to support Dr. No. He is even more of a nut job this time around than he was last time.

As to the AFP poll, my analysis of the demographic polled reflected that it was heavily skewed. Like the Rasmussen poll that shows Bobby Hair tied with the Governor, these conservative pollsters use push polling techniques (loaded questions) and skew the demographics (as in heavily over sample youth to the tune of a more than 20+% difference in likely voters for the demo, then under sample the elderly to the tune of an equally unbelieveable 20+%) to get the answer they are looking for.

Posted by: vmi98mom | June 23, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The stat that sites like OpenCongress give, such as the one huungrypirana cites is flawed. That 86% of votes includes bills that every member of the house votes YES on, such as recognizing groups of people, or changing the name of a post-office, and the more every day types of bills that come to the floor for a vote. Frank Kratovil has been rated one of the most independent members of our Congress today. He listens to his constituents based on their life and work experiences that are related to certain pieces of legislation, not just the political radicals that reside in the district (i.e Andy Harris and his gang, and TEA partiers.)This is why Kratovil deserves to keep his current seat in Congress and I fully support his re-election efforts.

Posted by: KnittingDem | June 23, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen the latest Kratovil ads paid for by the 'taxpayers of md"!! kratovil doesn't mind spending our $$$.. He tries to repair his image then he slips in the hole again. I am for Harris because he is a strict conservative and a hardworking moral person. He is pro 2nd amendment also..

Posted by: amdactivist | June 24, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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