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Pennsylvania: GOP Poll Shows Huge Advantage for Barletta

Updated: July 15, 1:40 p.m.

A poll commissioned by his campaign shows Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R) leading 13-term Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) 56 percent to 37 percent.

The Tarrance Group poll surveyed 400 likely voters July 12-13 and had a 4.9-point margin of error. It was the first poll Barletta’s campaign has sponsored in 2010.

This is the third time Barletta has challenged Kanjorski. He lost in 2002, and in 2008 he held Kanjorski to less than 52 percent.

Barletta announced his first TV ad buy earlier this week, a 30-second spot now airing on cable and network TV in the Scranton-Wilkes Barre market. In it, he touts his accomplishments as mayor and sets himself up as someone who would take on Washington leadership.

At the end of March, Kanjorski had more than $1.1 million on hand, but an updated Federal Election Commission report was not available by press time Wednesday.

Barletta adviser Vince Galko said the Republican would file his campaign finance statement Thursday and that it would show that he has raised more than $500,000 since he entered the race in December.

Kanjorski defeated two Democrats with 49 percent of the vote in the May 18 primary. Barletta was unopposed in the Republican primary.

Kanjorski spokesman Ed Mitchell said the poll numbers look “highly suspect” and said it would be hard to comment definitively on the data.

“This looks like more of two-time loser Barletta’s smoke and mirrors,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Remember, in 2008, Barletta repeatedly released polls showing he was going to win. Congressman Kanjorski won. Barletta lost again.”

Sestak, Toomey Run Even in Quinnipiac Poll

Voters are evenly divided about who they want to send to the Senate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll taken July 6-11.

Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic candidate, and former Rep. Pat Toomey, the Republican, tied at 43 percent.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,367 voters. The poll’s margin of error was 2.7 points.

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