Sabato's Crystal Ball

Pennsylvania (12) House 2010

 

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans D

Democratic candidate: Mark Critz, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Timothy Burns, businessman

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Background:

Long-serving incumbent Democrat John Murtha takes his well-oiled campaign machine to the 2010 election, hoping to win a 19th term in the heavily Democratic, gerrymandered 12th District. Democratic primary opponent and former naval officer, Ryan Bucchianeri, faces a daunting task of trying to unseat the senior incumbent, made even more difficult by his lack of campaign funds. Murtha’s biggest challenge will come from the Republican side in the form of William Russell, who is favored over fellow Republican businessman Timothy Burns in the primary. Russell squared off against Murtha in the 2008 election, and despite some controversial comments from Murtha calling his constituents “racists” and “rednecks,” he still managed to win by 15 percent—even though it was his smallest margin of victory yet. If Murtha can deride his own constituents and still not draw a serious challenge in the voting booth, it is difficult to predict an upset anytime soon. Pennsylvania’s 12th Leans Democratic.