Rep. Murphy pollster: “Very tight race”

This blog is supposed to be Delco-centric, but to ignore Bucks County this election cycle would just be irresponsible. The 8th Congressional District race – “The Rematch” – between Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and Republican Mike Fitzpatrick is heating up. Fast.

You have to be skeptical of internal polls. But, in addition to Fitzpatrick’s recent poll giving him a 7-point lead, Murphy’s own pollster says the race is virtually tied. The Global Strategy Group survey commissioned in mid-August by the Murphy campaign gives Murphy only a 47-43 lead (within the margin of error) over Fitzpatrick, whom Murphy unseated in 2006 by less than 1 percentage point. The accompanying polling memo predicts “a very tight race.”

“The race has taken on new importance,” Franklin & Marshall College pollster G. Terry Madonna said today. “It now has to be regarded as competitive.” National political pundits are putting Murphy’s district – previously considered relatively safe Democratic territory – in the “toss-up” column and the National Republican Congressional Committee is starting to dump cash into the race.

If you haven’t been following this one, you should start. Especially if you live in the 8th District. Check out tomorrow’s Daily News for a primer and some additional coverage of their first debate, which was taped Wednesday, but won’t air until 9:30 p.m. Sunday on Larry Kane’s “Voice of Reason” show.

Update: Today's story and a copy of the Murphy poll memo, dated Aug. 27.