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MCAP poll gives Kelly sizeable lead in congressional race

Monday, October 27, 2014

With the congressional election just nine days away, Pennsylvania voters appear to be on the threshold of awarding Republican incumbent Mike Kelly another term in Congress, according to a poll released today by the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP).

Kelly maintains a comfortable 20-point lead over Democratic challenger Dan LaVallee, as nearly three out of four voters in Pennsylvania’s Third Congressional District (PA-3) report they do not recognize LaVallee’s name.

“Having extremely low name recognition a week before election day presents a serious, perhaps insurmountable, problem for the LaVallee campaign,” said MCAP Director Joe Morris.

MCAP polled 503 registered voters in PA-3 Oct. 13-21. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.37.

Despite their apparent support of Kelly, voters are anything but satisfied with the performance of Congress as an institution. Two out three voters say Congress is doing a poor job, and three out of four say that during the past year it has not passed any legislation that will significantly improve life in America or their lives in particular.

“This paradox is not uncommon,” Morris said. “Americans often give low marks to Congress, but are satisfied with the job performance of their representative.”

President Obama fairs no better – nearly two out of three voters in PA-3 disapprove of the job he is doing as president. In terms of the race for governor of Pennsylvania, the Democratic Party’s candidate Tom Wolf enjoys a seven-point lead over Republican governor Tom Corbett among registered and likely voters in PA-3.

The poll also finds substantial concern about the spread of the Ebola virus. Nearly half of all registered voters in PA-3 express a lack of confidence in our nation’s ability to prevent new cases of Ebola within our borders, and strong majorities express concern that the disease will spread to other parts of the nation and even to their own community within the next year.

To view the complete report, visit