New Poll Shows Endangered Congressional CU Champion Back On Top

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WILKES-BARRE, Penn. – A new survey commissioned by a local newspaper, The Times Leader, found Democrat Paul Kanjorski, the credit union champion on Capitol Hill, holding an 8-point lead over perennial Republican rival Lou Barletta, 47% to 39%, as Election Day draws near.

The poll, contrasting to two separate polls in recent weeks showing the 13-term incumbent trailing the Hazelton, Penn., mayor, comes as credit unions in the state’s 11th congressional district have once again picked up their campaign to save Kanjorski and after former President Bill Clinton appeared at a rally for Kanjorski on Tuesday.

The latest poll was conducted by Critical Insights, of Portland, Maine, for the newspaper. Of the 400 likely voters in the 11th Congressional District polled, 47% said they would vote for Kanjorski, 39% said they’d vote for Barletta and 12% were still undecided. The other 2% refused to answer.

Just two weeks ago, a Times Leader poll had Barletta ahead, 43% to 41%, with 16% undecided. And another poll conducted by the Franklin and Marshall Center for Public Policy had Barletta ahead by 7 points.

Release of the new poll comes as dozens of area credit unions are sending volunteers to man phone banks and go door-to-door on behalf of Kanjorski.

Kanjorski, who has been the most reliable congressional ally for credit unions for more than a decade, easily beat Barletta in 2002 and beat him again, narrowly, in 2008, by 52% to 48%.

Kanjorski, who now chairs the prestigious House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, has been the credit union champion since his authorship of HR 1151, the 1998 CU Membership Access Act, and has followed up his support by sponsoring numerous regulatory relief bills for credit unions, as well as last year’s corporate credit union bailout bill.


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