In the latest sign the November election will be an uphill climb for Pennsylvania Democrats, a national political website has shifted three Democratic-held Congressional seats from “toss up” to “leans Republican.”
The University of Virginia’s Crystal Ball website analyzes races across the country. It’s shifted seats held by Kathy Dahlkemper, Paul Kanjorski and Patrick Murphy into possible Republican pickups, and rates eight Democrat-controlled districts in Pennsylvania as competitive.
The website’s House Race editor, Isaac Wood, says Dahlkemper and Murphy are facing the same challenge as other Democrats who won their seats in 2006 and 2008, when the party made major gains.
"Especially since many of them represent either battleground districts or slightly to heavily Republican districts. So now that you have the national winds really with the Republican Party, you’re going to see a lot more freshman and sophomore Democratic Congressman feeling the heat."
Wood says Kanjorski’s decades in office are working against him this year, when many voters are viewing Washington experience as a negative.
In addition to those three seats, Crystal Ball views Democrats Jason Altmire, Mark Critz, who won a special election in May to serve out the term of the late John Murtha, as well as Chris Carney and Tim Holden as possibly vulnerable.
Republicans Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach are facing competitive challengers, as well.