| Dane & Associates for Glen Meakem (10/27-28, 'probable' voters, 10/13-14 in parens):
Jack Murtha (D-inc): 46
William Russell (R): 44
Here's the takeaway: don't call your constituents 'racists.' Jack Murtha is an institution in this D+5 district (he's the one of only two sitting congress members to have the local airport named after him... the other one, of course, is Ted Stevens). Institution status notwithstanding, though, we're starting to see a pattern here in his post-gaffe environment... as much as these GOP internal polls individually seem ticky-tacky, they're accumulating and it's troubling that Murtha hasn't responded in kind. With the DCCC and NRCC (as well as right-wing Vets for Freedom) jumping in with last minute ad buys, and with Murtha making a pitch for money to Move On members, we at SSP feel there's enough cause for concern here to downgrade this race to "Likely Democratic."
Remember that William Russell is one of the 'defrauder' candidates raising funds through shadowy direct mail firm BMW Direct. Josh Marshall returned to this story yesterday, finding that Russell is actually pocketing a fair bit of money ($1.1 million, out of $2.5 million raised) even after paying for BMW's unusually large fees. That $1.1 million is still much less than the $2 million that Murtha has spent, though.
As for the other bit players in this story, Dane & Associates is a Las Vegas-based automated pollster who, as best as I can tell from a quick Google of the tubes, has never made public any of its polls prior to this race. This poll was made public through grassrootsPA.com, a right-wing state blog that seems to aspire to be a local version of Drudge, based on its firehose-spew of news items and atrocious design sensibilities. The guy who actually paid for it, Glen Meakem, seems to be a Pittsburgh-area internet rich guy with his own Republican political aspirations, at least according to this puff piece from the right-leaning Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.