Bartlett Trailing Delaney in Challenger's Poll
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., trails Democrat John Delaney in the general election in his western Maryland congressional district, according to a poll conducted for the challenger's campaign and released on Tuesday.
The poll, conducted by Washington-based Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group for Delaney's campaign, shows the Democrat leading Bartlett, 48 percent to 39 percent. Thirteen percent of voters are undecided. The poll, which surveyed 402 voters, was conducted April 9-11, a week following Delaney's victory in the Democratic primary. It carries a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.
Voters are lukewarm on returning Bartlett to Congress, according to the poll. Only 24 percent prefer to reelect Bartlett, while 50 percent prefer "someone else," according to a memorandum from Fred Yang, Delaney's pollster.
Maryland's 6th District was redrawn last year, adding in thousands of voters from Democratic-leaning Montgomery County. Bartlett's former district was not competitive; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., carried the district by 18 percentage points in 2008, despite losing the Free State by 26 points. But the district now has a distinct Democratic lean.
Delaney was the upstart winner of the Democratic primary earlier this month, defeating state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola by a wide margin, despite the fact that many thought the district was redrawn to boost Garagiola's congressional hopes. The self-funding Delaney spent at least $2.2 million to win the primary, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. He loaned himself more than $1.5 million. Garagiola, meanwhile, spent less than a third of Delaney's expenditures. (The latest FEC reports cover expenditures through March 31; the primary was on April 3.)
Bartlett, who will turn 86 in June, was first elected in 1993. Bartlett has just over $265,000 cash-on-hand, according to his most recent FEC report, slightly less than Delaney's balance as of March 31.