Sabato's Crystal Ball

Pennsylvania (15) House 2010


Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: John Callahan, Mayor of Bethlehem

Republican candidate: Charlie Dent, Incumbent

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball


Republican Representative Charlie Dent seeks a 4th term in the 10th District that encompasses the eastern Pennsylvania cities of Allentown and Bethlehem. Dent’s centrist-leaning politics and willingness to work with Democrats perhaps saved him from losing his seat in the 10th district in the 2006 election, and he quickly bounced back to a 17 percent victory margin in 2008. His moderate image and appeal is perhaps his greatest asset; he knows that he will need center-Democrat votes from the surprising 56 percent of his constituents who voted for Barack Obama in the most recent election. Previous presidential candidates John Kerry and Al Gore each only attained a 1 percent victory in a district where voting patters have traditionally reflected a slight Democratic lean.

In 2010, expect a strong challenge from Democratic Mayor of Bethlehem, John Callahan. His executive position in the major district population center affords him an advantage in the name recognition game that previous Democratic challengers lacked. For now, this race Leans Republican.