The Jim Gerlach for Congress Committee released a poll Friday that shows the Republican Congressman pulling out to a 26-point lead over his Democratic challenger.
Gerlach is seeking his fourth term as the U.S. representative for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, which covers parts of Berks, Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery counties.
The moderate Republican narrowly won the 6th District seat in 2002 and has struggled to hold it in the last two election cycles.
But the poll by Public Opinion Strategies shows Gerlach may breathe easier against a weak Democratic challenger in Bob Roggio.
Pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies noted that Gerlach's favorable-unfavorable rating of 58-20% is the highest it has ever been since his first campaign in 2002, Gerlach staffers maintain. Newhouse noted that in contrast, President Bush's approval rating is at just 27%.
"This poll strongly indicates that despite the challenging political environment, a few more Democrat voters and gas prices that are way too high, folks in this district see Jim Gerlach as a proven champion for change," Mark Campbell, Gerlach's political director, said in a written statement. "Far left hate groups for the last three cycles have run millions of dollars worth of ads against him. The fact is, voters recognize that Jim Gerlach is an honest, hard-working Congressman who works across party lines to get things done and achieve commonsense results."
The Jim Gerlach for Congress Committee is also gloating at the news that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced its third round of "Red to Blue" candidates, a program that "highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country and offers them financial, communications, and strategic support."
Roggio was not included in this group, but instead labeled an "emerging candidate," a 4th tier category, the Gerlach camp notes.
Gerlach has been ranked by non-partisan publications, including the National Journal and Congressional Quarterly, as one of the most independent Republican members of the House of Representatives, the Gerlach campaign says.