Kratovil's poll shows him leading rematch with Harris in 1st district
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.
June 23, 2010; 7:35 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , Ben Pershing
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