First-term Republican representative Brian Fitzpatrick, who is being challenged by Democratic candidate Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania’s 1st congressional district, has opened up a slight lead in the toss-up race.
Fitzpatrick is currently garnering the support of 50 percent of likely voters in the district to Wallace’s 46 percent of support, according to a new poll from Monmouth University. The poll was conducted between Sep. 27 and Oct. 1.
Fitzpatrick, a moderate Republican, is ahead of Wallace despite Hillary Clinton carrying the district in 2016. The district, which was formerly the 8th congressional district in the state, was made even more Democratic following redrawn congressional lines in the state earlier this year.
“When you look at the underlying political environment in this district, you would expect the Democrat to be ahead,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But Fitzpatrick has been able to overcome this with a solid reputation among his constituents, while many remain uncertain about Wallace.”
The Inquirer notes the poll could signal bad news for Democrats as they are looking to the Philadelphia suburbs as a pivotal area in helping them flip control of the House of Representatives.
In a previous Monmouth poll conducted from May 31 to June 1, Fitzpatrick was statistically ahead by about one point, garnering the support of 48 percent of likely voters to Wallace’s 47 percent.