Democratic candidate Christina Finello has a message for Democrats in PA and DC: she’s within striking distance of incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks).
National Journal first reported the poll on Monday morning showing Finello, an Ivyland Borough Councilwoman, trailing by 2 points to the Congressman, 40% to 38% with 21 percent undecided.
The Public Policy Polling survey was conducted on behalf of the Finello campaign. It includes 753 interviews of likely voters conducted half by calls to landlines and half by texts to cell phones from June 10-11, and has a ± 3.6% margin of error.
PPP’s polling leans in the Democrats favor by an average of 0.3%, according to analysts at FiveThirtyEight, which gives PPP a B rating. Having said that, all internal poll results should be taken with a grain of salt.
In this case it seems likely that Finello hopes to puncture the aura of invincibility around the Fitzpatrick name in PA1. Democrats have long targeted the seat, which on paper is their most favorable pickup opportunity in PA. But Brian and his brother, the late Mike Fitzpatrick, frustrated those efforts cycle after cycle. An exclusive poll in the NJ is a message to national networks of PACs, super PACs and donors: put the past aside – this race belongs in the top tier.
The Fitzpatrick campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. The National Republican Congressional Committee shrugged off the poll by pointing to Fitzpatrick being named the most bipartisan member of Congress in 2019 and attempting to describe Finello as supporting Democrats’ “socialist agenda.”
“Brian Fitzpatrick earned the title of most bipartisan member of congress by delivering on his promise to PA-01 voters to always put them first,” said NRCC Spokesman Michael McAdams. “The last thing folks in this district want is a partisan zealot like Christina Finello who supports Democrats’ socialist agenda focused on abolishing the police, raising taxes and eliminating private health insurance.”
Finello, who comfortably defeated Skylar Hurwitz, a technology entrepreneur and small business owner in the Democratic primary, has not voiced support for abolishing the police or eliminating private insurance and did not address taxes, according to the issues page of her campaign website.
In addition to showing a race in which the Finello campaign is dubbing as a “toss-up,” due to the internal poll, they also show other troubling numbers for Fitzpatrick and President Donald Trump.
35% polled said that they approve of Fitzpatrick’s job performance, while 37% said that they disapprove, and 29% said that they weren’t sure. Finello remains mainly unknown by the voters in PA1 with 18% saying that they have a favorable view of the Democratic candidate, while 12% say they have an unfavorable view of her, and 71% saying that they are not sure if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Finello.
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 20 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. At $31M in total spending, it was the fifth-most expensive non-special congressional contest in American history. 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.
While Trump was competitive with Clinton in this district in 2016, this poll paints a much different picture against Biden this fall.
56% polled said that they’d vote for Biden for president, while 40% said that they’d vote for Trump. These numbers mirror Trump’s approval rating in the district in the poll with just 40% approving of the president’s job performance, while 56% disapprove.
Fitzpatrick by 8
Having followed The Fitzpatricks for more than a decade [and having maxed-out on Mike when he was unseating his interim predecessor], I believe I can provide clarity without partisanship; I’ve actively attempted to recruit primary [true-conservative] opponents and transiently served as Treasurer to the Dean Malik campaign [thrilled with his support of Kurdistan, unsolicited and unique].
First, I was highly skeptical of Meehan’s chances noting both $-differential and sub-professional website; I shared this viewpoint with him [@ the Buck Hotel] and his cohorts [Tea Party Patriots of Lower Bucks plus a pal in New Hope] during the past year, but I was shocked at his vote-count.
THEREFORE, his GOP support is extant but not enthusiastic, born of years of neglect of the “base” that is both justifiable and annoying [e.g., “gun control” and “deep state” issues].
Second, if his Dem component is indeed a blank-slate, then this merely confirms the prospect that the nationalization of all seemingly “local” politics [with all due respect to Tip O’Neill’s father] inevitably casts him as tied to The Donald, no matter his deviations.
THEREFORE, his ongoing reliance upon Dem cross-overs [supposedly 17%] is highly vulnerable, no matter what he does…no matter the polling…no matter interim events.
Third, because he hasn’t done anything to antagonize most Dems, it’s unlikely Indies will be ruffled by the prospect of his re-election; amazingly, no one has asked hard-questions about his knowledge of Ukraine [he was stationed there] and links to the FBI leadership [swampy @ the top].
THEREFORE, he hopes to continue flying under the radar, simply hoping the GOP will coalesce around him [fearing the prospects of Radical Dems] and hoping Indies will not wish to support an unknown.
I have to disagree slightly with one point. There are a LOT of people on social media who have tried to bring attention to Fitzpatrick and his time in Ukraine (and his knowledge of the corruption and action there), especially in light of his being one of two PA GOP reps who got money from Parnas/Fruman. But his friendly relationship with the editor of the local papers has kept that story from being actively pursued and followed up on in traditional media.
This is why, particularly noting his silence regarding the Deep State attacking The Donald, I cited awareness of this backgrounder.
I still think Fitz is the obvious favorite in this race. However, Trump is doing him no favors. The risk for Fitz is that he gets caught in a vice. He upsets the rural Trumpers in the CD by going too hard on the bi-partisan message and upsets the surburbanites by going too Trumper. The D has the advantage of not having to do much but offer the standard change. Her name recognition needs to increase. Since this was a D poll, I think it is likely that Fitz is up by 6-8 points with quite a few undecideds. I would place this in the likely hold category for the R’s but still not safe.
This was ironically being composed as I was writing the more elaborative version thereof; we supplant the polarization evinced by other commenters due to clear/candid awareness of the true forces-at-play.
I suspect the aforementioned “vice” isn’t that tight, for the up-county will turn-out heavy-R regardless AND the “woke” suburbanites are aware of antipathy with The Donald.
Nevertheless, because history [as well-documented by my loyal son] has shown that my personal ability to predict is deficient [I liked Perry/Cruz and belatedly wrote glowingly of The Donald when compared with the Hilldabeast], I limit my input to observations and suggestions; “KDav” is probably correct based upon recent Bucks County behavior, but it seems that this election year promises to be an “all bets off” experience.
I understand your point.
RNCC mouthpiece McAdams is full of smoke. Fitzpatrick gets his fake bipartisan persona by being rated by the GOP’s Lugar Center as most bipartisan in the House; Lugar Center also rated Susan Collins as the most bipartisan in the Senate– and see how that is working out. Brian Fitzpatrick is the Susan Collins of PA01.
Fitzpatrick also rolls out the Problem Solvers Caucus as evidence of centrism, but they are an organization run by GOP-linked operatives at No Labels, with a corporate (not working family) agenda.
His *bipartisan* cred is very challenged, depending on the leadership. Fitzpatrick’s voting record was very close to supporting Trump during the last congress (~85%), and is still predominantly in line with Trump on issues important to supporting another term of Trumpism. Fitzpatrick voted FOR the GOPTaxScam, and AGAINST the Trump impeachment.
Actually, Kathy’s currently the Sec of the Commonwealth. No one has forgotten her.
Bucks County has long been trending Dem for many years. Finello has everything going for her as Trump is a disaster in Bucks. This is a county that definitely is not Trump Country and the job of the Bucks Dems and Finello is to remind the voters who unquestionably are on Finello’s side who Fitz is aligned with and that should not be hard to do. This is the Dems election to lose. Sen Tomlinson winning last go round was something that should have been a Dem victory. Dems need to hustle and earn the voters trust to oust Fitzpatrick.
Hi Christine! It is true that you have “everything going for you” except name recognition, accomplishments, experience, and money. It’s practically yours to lose!
Brian Fitzpatrick is anything but bipartisan. He is/was heavily funded by out of district and out of state right wing & corp PACs. He’s NEVER held an open townhall as he’s afraid to face his constituents. He takes careful strategic votes to LOOK moderate. He voted for the tax cuts, voted to undermine healthcare for substance abuse & mental health treatment, voted to gut women’s health care. Btw he LOST his home town to Wallace. He’s a fake centrist. Karl ROVE is his campaign advisor. He’s a fake who uses half truths and out right deceit, then hides from constituents in cowardice.
Generally, polls taken at one of the candidates’ family reunion are not considered reliable.
Now lew, do you mean to tell me Christine commissioned this poll, and it was done AT her family reunion, and she still trails by two points? Something doesn’t sound right here!
How long can Fitzpatrick ride the hereditary politician coattails?
Until one of Mike’s kids decides to run? You tell me, Pittsburgh.
PPP didn’t exactly cover itself in polling glory in 2016. Anyone who places their trust in that outfit will get what they deserve — good and hard!
Once the people of PA-01 get to know Christina Finello its game over. The NRCC statement is ridiculous as Dr. Finello has NEVER voiced support for abolishing the police or eliminating private healthcare. The fact that 71% have no opinion of her means she simply needs to get her name out there more.
This is a desperate attempt to attract the DCCC’s money to PA-1 by Finello.
“I’m not for abolishing police! I’m for severely defunding police and otherwise making the job impossible by way of impossible use of force regulations. I’m not for ending private health insurance, I’m for ruinous taxing and spending so that only the very wealthy can afford private health insurance.”
No one knows Finello because she is a nobody. In four years, no one will remember who ran against Fitzpatrick in 2020. Remember Radical Kathy Boockvar? Neither does anyone else.
Fitzpatrick votes with the Ds enough, that they’re OK with keeping him. Money’s better spent elsewhere…