Reader Poll: Cartwright Most Vulnerable to Dem Primary

Matt Cartwright

Rep. Matt Cartwright

According to PoliticsPA readers, Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) is the Democratic congressman most vulnerable to a primary challenge next year.

Cartwright took a majority, 174 (53%), of the 325 votes cast. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) came in a distant second with 80 votes (24%).

Bob Brady (D-Phila) and Chaka Fattah (D-Phila) came in third and fourth with 43 and 30 votes, respectively.

Cartwright defeated longtime Rep. Tim Holden (D-Schuylkill) in a 2012 primary.

The results contradict the case made by some liberals, including the blog Keystone Politics, that Cartwright is Pa.’s “Most Valuable Democrat”:

We would expect a member of Congress in a D+4 district to vote with progressives (different from voting with the Democratic Party, as you’ll learn) about 80.409% of the time. Matt Cartwright has actually been voting with progressives 88.913% of the time as of this week’s update, which includes the NSA vote. He’s delivering excellent value to progressives, and is currently the only member of the PA delegation who doesn’t have a positive (bad) primary score.

Mike Doyle and Chaka Fattah are both among 58 congressional Democrats who were named by the startup progressive site “Primary Colors.”

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montco) is pursuing a bid for Governor and not seeking re-election.

At this stage in the game, however, none of Pa.’s congressional Democrats faces primary challenge at all, let alone one that would threaten their seat.

Here are the full results:

Which Democrat is most vulnerable to a primary challenge?


  • PA-17: Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) (54%)
  • PA-14: Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) (25%)
  • PA-1: Bob Brady (D-Phila) (13%)
  • PA-2: Chaka Fattah (D-Phila) (9%)

Total Voters: 327

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July 30th, 2013 | Posted in Congress, Features, Poll, Top Stories | 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Reader Poll: Cartwright Most Vulnerable to Dem Primary”

  1. Linda Christman says:

    Cong. Cartwright has been working hard to up his name recognition. He’s been in Carbon Co. and in Easton often. I doubt he can be beat. Plus, he gives good constituent service. People remember that.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Cartwright may get challenged but he won’t lose a primary. Let’s face it. What would the challenger do, run to the left or right of Matt? Matt is well of the left and running to the right of him didn’t help Holden any.

    The only possible threat would be a Democrat from Easton. Easton is basically the only other population center in his district. This Easton candidate would have to win the Pocono region, Carbon, and Schuylkill Counties plus the Easton area because Lackawanna and Luzerne will stick with Matt!

  3. PoliticsPA readers aren’t necessarily wrong – there are two different questions here. The question you asked is who’s most vulnerable. As the most recently elected Democrat, the incumbency effects working in his favor aren’t yet as strong as the other Dems count on. He’s less of a known quantity at this point.

    PC is looking at whether he deserves a primary based on his voting behavior and his district lean, and the answer there is clearly no.

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