Larry Sabato has stared intently into the “Crystal Ball” and checked Rep. Mark Critz’s (D-Cambria) life line. His divination says Critz stands a good chance at outlasting his fourth tough contest in PA-12.
In a report conducted by The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, House Editor Kyle Kondik improved Critz’s chances in the race for PA-12 against challenger Keith Rothfus. Kondik cited Critz’s perseverance through the Republican wave in 2010 as a key reason.
“We’re also comfortable enough now to upgrade the chances of Rep. Mark Critz,” the report said. “His western Pennsylvania district is challenging for Democrats, but this John Murtha protégé proved his mettle in a tough primary race against fellow Democrat Jason Altmire in the spring, and he survived two tough races in 2010. We’re giving the benefit of the doubt to 2010 Democratic survivors like Critz, when prudent.”
Critz campaign spokesperson Mike Mikus said he is not surprised at all by Sabato’s report.
“The people of western Pennsylvania know that Mark Critz is fighting for western Pennsylvania jobs by opposing unfair trade deals that ship jobs overseas, fighting to force China to play by the rules and opposing overregulation of the coal and natural gas industries so we can create jobs here,” he said.
“The people know that he is fighting for them and that is why they will vote to elect him in November.”
Rothfus Campaign Manager John Raso blasted the report, saying that the policies Critz supports are what has gotten this country into economic trouble. Raso said 12th district voters will be able to see through the sound bites to Critz for who he really is – and his liberal ties.
“The voters know that Keith Rothfus has the policies that will end this barrage on the middle class of unacceptable unemployment, higher taxes, higher gas prices and higher energy costs,” Raso said. “And they know that given the choice between the same policies of President Obama and Congressman Critz that continue to fail them, or new policies that empower the workers here in pa instead of the bureaucrats in D.C., the choice for Rothfus is clear.”
The race for PA-12 has long been considered the most competitive race in Pennsylvania.
Outside forces have had a prominent role in running ads for the race and will likely continue to as the election moves forward, even with Sabato’s prediction.