A new internal poll from GOP candidate Jim Bognet shows that he is “within striking distance” in his race against Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) for the 8th Congressional District.
The survey commissioned by the GOP challenger’s campaign and conducted by Jamestown Associates shows Cartwright leading Bognet by 5 points, 48-to-43, while 9% are undecided. It interviewed 615 likely voters from Oct. 13-14 and has a ± 4% margin of error.
The poll was first reported by The Hill.
As with any internal poll, the results should be taken with a grain of salt.
The Cartwright campaign dismissed the polling and expressed confidence at the Lackawanna County Democrat securing another term.
“Mr. Bognet’s D.C. campaign consultant poll might make him feel good now, but the only poll that counts is the one that’s tallied on Election Day,” said Cartwright campaign spokesman Matt Slavoski. “We are confident that a clear majority of Northeastern Pennsylvanians will continue voting over the next two weeks to keep Matt Cartwright’s steady, principled leadership in Congress.”
In addition to the head-to-head matchup, the poll also showed Cartwright having an advantage on favorability.
45% view Cartwright favorably, while 39% have an unfavorable view of him. 34% view Bognet favorably, while 40% view him unfavorably.
Although President Donald Trump carried these congressional boundaries by 10 points in 2016 over Sec. Hillary Clinton, this poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a narrow edge in the district that includes his boyhood home of Scranton.
48% said that they’d vote for Biden for president, while 46% said that they’d vote for Trump.
Although Trump trails Biden by 2 points in the district, 51% of voters said that they believe their neighbors are voting for Trump.
Analysis from The Hill added that Cartwright’s campaign and House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC endorsed by Democratic House leadership, has “heavily outspent” Bognet in the race. Bognet is hoping to sway independents, citing the 4 point net favorability rating the GOP challenger holds with them (36-to-32).
This is the first poll released from either campaign of the congressional race in Northeast Pa.
Cartwright is currently serving his fourth term in Congress, most recently besting Republican John Chrin by just over 9 points. In 2016, Trump carried these boundaries by close to 10 points, while Cartwright fended off Republican Matt Connolly by a 7.6 point margin.
Three national ratings outlets show Cartwright is currently favored in the race. Inside Elections lists the race in PA8 as Safe Democratic, while Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has the race as Likely Democratic, and the Cook Political Report has it as Leans Democratic.