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Please begin with an informative title:

This is making me do the happy dance:


A new poll from MoveOn.org and Public Policy Polling reveals the government shutdown may be threatening the re-election chances of Rep. Jim Gerlach. According to their survey, the Congressman’s approval rating currently stands at 34% while 43% of respondents disapprove.

When asked to chose between Rep. Gerlach or a Democratic opponent, Gerlach trails the Democrat 46%-41%. When those polled are informed that the Congressman supported the shutdown, he trails a generic Democrat 48%-41%.

Only 31% and 33% of respondents respectively support a government shutdown or refusing to lift the debt ceiling in order to prevent the implementation of Obamacare.

The survey polled 821 registered voters from Pennsylvania’s 6th district. - Politics PA, 10/11/13

Here's some more details:


The Democratic pollster dropped some more numbers today that is more bad news for Republican incumbents in non-safe districts. Since they already proved that Pat Meehan (R, PA-7) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R, PA-8) are in danger of losing their seats, they’ve moved onto Jim Gerlach (R) in PA-6 — and almost surprisingly, his numbers are worse than both Meehan’s and Fitzpatrick’s:

Jim Gerlach Approval
Approve: 34%, Disapprove: 43%

Government Shutdown Plan to Stop Obamacare
Support: 31%, Oppose: 63%

Debt Default Plan to Stop Obamacare
Support: 33%, Oppose: 58%

Would you vote for Jim Gerlach or a Democratic Opponent?
Jim Gerlach: 41%, Democratic Opponent: 46%

A ‘generic’ candidate normally does better against an incumbent than a named challenger — but that’s only under the assumption that Democrats run mediocre candidates for these seats. - Keystone Politics, 10/11/13

You can read MoveOn.org & PPP's poll here:


Why does this make me happy?  Because of the gerrymandered map, Gerlach's district, which has always been competitive, made him safer from Democrats taking his seat:


From the 2002 until the 2010 election, Gerlach’s 6th congressional district was one of the nation’s most competitive. In his first four elections, Gerlach never won with more than 52.10%* of the vote.

However, Gerlach’s Democratic-leaning district was redrawn to Gerlach’s favor in 2012. The 6th district shed heavily Democratic territory in Lower Merion Township, Coatesville, Norristown, and its portion of Reading; at the same time, it gained heavily Republican portions of Berks and Lebanon Counties.

Despite the fact that current PA-6 boundaries were drawn by Republicans, Democrats hoped Dr. Manan Trivedi would have a chance to win because a slight majority of the district was new to Gerlach.

However Gerlach was re-elected easily last year, winning a decisive 57.19% of the vote. At the same time, Mitt Romney carried the 6th district with 51.32% of the vote; Romney’s performance in the 6th district placed it three points more Republican than his national performance.

Below are maps that show how Gerlach performed in the 6th district in 2012. The first map is a breakdown by county, and the second map shows how Gerlach performed in each of the district’s municipalities.

- Politics PA, 10/7/13
Now Gerlach knows that a gerrymandered map wouldn't be enough to save him that's why he's one of the 21 Republicans signing on for a clean CR vote:


Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pennsylvania 6)

2012 General Election Winning Percentage: 57
2012 Primary Election Winning Percentage: Unopposed
2012 Presidential Election Winner: Romney 51%
Percentage of Government Workers: 9

Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pennsylvania 7)

2012 General Election Winning Percentage: 59
2012 Primary Election Winning Percentage: Unopposed
2012 Presidential Election Winner: Romney 50%
Percentage of Government Workers: 10

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania 8)

2012 General Election Winning Percentage: 57
2012 Primary Election Winning Percentage: Unopposed
2012 Presidential Election Winner: Romney 49%
Percentage of Government Workers: 9

Rep. Charles Dent (Pennsylvania 15)

2012 General Election Winning Percentage: 57
2012 Primary Election Winning Percentage: Unopposed
2012 Presidential Election Winner: Romney 51%
Percentage of Government Workers: 10 - NPR, 10/8/13

Gerlach has been out with his fellow vulnerable PA GOP colleagues, Pat Meehan (R. PA-07), Mike Fitzpatrick (R. PA-08), Charlie Dent (R. PA-15) and Lou Barletta (R. PA-15) emphasizing they didn't want this shutdown but do still want to defund Obamacare:


We're writing amid the first government shutdown in 17 years. This is an extraordinary time, and as a regional group of Republicans, we wanted to make clear what we're doing and why.

None of us wanted this shutdown. We worked tirelessly to stop it and to keep the government funded. And that continues today.

We have also worked to repeal, defund, delay, and dismantle Obamacare. And for good reason. It's led to lost coverage, fewer jobs, and higher insurance costs for families. - Tredyffrin-Easttown Patch, 10/6/13

But don't expect Gerlach and Meehan to sign any discharge petitions:


The three Republican Congressmen who represent Philadelphia’s suburbs all say they support a ‘clean’ continuing resolution (CR) to reopen the federal government. But none of them seem ready to join Democrats to force the issue on the House floor.

“This discharge petition is more of the same hyper-partisanship that got us into this situation in the first place, and does not represent a serious attempt to govern responsibly,” said Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester).

If a majority of House members sign a discharge petition, they can compel House Speaker John Boehner to call a vote on a bill that would end the government shutdown.

Unlike other GOP-supported bills, the clean CR would include no language to defend or delay the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It funds the entire government rather than the ad hoc bills the House has passed in recent days.

But it is highly unusual for House members to sign a discharge petition in defiance of party leadership. No Republican has thus far signed onto it.

Reps. Gerlach and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) said they won’t support the move. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) did not respond to repeated requests for comment. - Politics PA, 10/9/13

Hopefully PPP's poll will motive Democrats to try again and finally take back this district.

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Originally posted to pdc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Philly Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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