A national Democratic PAC says that challenger Christina Finello has a one point lead over Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) in the race for the 1st Congressional District.
47% of voters said that they would vote for Finello if the election were held today, while 46% said they would vote for Fitzpatrick, and 7% are not sure, according to a new poll of voters in PA1 commissioned by House Majority PAC.
House Majority PAC is a Democratic super PAC endorsed by House Democratic leadership. It’s the second poll this cycle that they’ve released on the race in PA1. In June, a House Majority PAC commissioned poll showed Fitzpatrick leading Finello by 1 point, 45%-to-44%.
It’s GOP counterpart, Congressional Leadership Fund, has also released two polls on the race for PA1. CLF’s poll commissioned in mid-September showed Fitzpatrick holding a 16 point lead over Finello, 52%-to-36%, in the race. In July, CLF’s poll showed Fitzpatrick with a 15 point lead over Finello, 50%-to-35%, in the race.
House Majority PAC doesn’t coordinate directly with candidates or committees like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but it does play a role in helping shape specific races for the election. Publicizing an internal poll is a key way to help craft a message for a congressional race.
This poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling and included 569 interviews of PA-1 voters. The 569 interviews were conducted between Oct. 6-7.
Public Policy Polling leans in Democrats favor by an average of 0.3%, according to analysts at FiveThirtyEight, which gives the outlet a B rating. Having said that, all internal poll results should be taken with a grain of salt.
The Fitzpatrick campaign dismissed the poll and claimed that Finello has lost “all credibility” in the community.
“It’s laughable that the only polls showing Christina Finello “tied” are commissioned by far-left partisan organizations that are desperately trying to help her fundraising and make her relevant,” said Kate Constantini, campaign spokesperson. “Whether it’s pushing fake partisan polling numbers, lying to voters about taking Corporate PAC money or throwing false attacks at Brian Fitzpatrick, Christina Finello has lost all credibility in our community.”
Finello writes on her campaign website’s issues page that she supports a “constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling to end dark money’s influence on our elections.”
The Fitzpatrick campaign did not specifically point to a specific corporate PAC donation that was received by the Finello campaign in their response though.
Fitzpatrick has a higher favorability rating than Finello, although the Democratic challenger’s net favorability rating is greater than the incumbent. 43% have a favorable view of Fitzpatrick, while 42% have an unfavorable view, and 16% aren’t sure. 35% have a favorable opinion of Finello, while 29% have an unfavorable opinion, and 36% aren’t sure.
When forced to choose a side, Democrats have the advantage over Republicans for the generic candidate for Congress (50%-to-44%), handling the health impact of the coronavirus pandemic (54%-to-39%), and handling the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic (50%-to-45%).
Although Sec. Hillary Clinton only narrowly edged out President Donald Trump in the district in 2016, this poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden holding a double digit lead over Trump. 55% polled said they’d vote for Biden for president if the election were held today, while 42% said they’d vote for Trump, and 3% are not sure in the Philadelphia suburban congressional district.
Trump’s job approval rating is also under water in the district as well. 42% approve of Trump’s job performance, while 54% disapprove, and 4% are not sure.
Fitzpatrick is currently in his second term in Congress representing the Philadelphia suburban district. He bested pro-Trump Republican Andrew Meehan in the 2020 GOP primary by 27 points, which is a closer victory than his 2018 GOP primary win over pro-Trump Republican Dean Malik by 34 points. In the general election, Fitzpatrick defeated Democrat Scott Wallace by just over 2.5 points in the November midterm. Fitzpatrick was just one of two Republicans nationwide to weather the blue wave in 2018 by winning boundaries that narrowly went to Sec. Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Several ratings outlets currently have the PA1 race as Leans Republican.
The survey can be found here.