Analyzing Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District

CNN's Robert Yoon does a splendid job of summarizing the 10th:
On paper, Republicans should have an easy time winning an election in Pennsylvania's 10th district, given the region's GOP-friendly demographics and voting history. But an embarrassing sex scandal involving four-term GOP Rep. Don Sherwood opened the door for Democrat Chris Carney to take the seat in 2006 as part of a Democratic wave that year.

Carney, a Naval Reserve officer and former Pentagon intelligence analyst after 9/11, defeated Sherwood 53 percent to 47 percent. In his first re-election bid two years later, he built on his lead and received 56 percent of the vote. As a member of Congress, Carney tends to vote with his party on key issues more often than not, but he has also bucked his party on key issues about 17 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly. He voted in support of the Bush administration's plan on warrantless wiretapping in 2008 and against the "cap and trade" energy proposal in 2009.

The Republican nominee is Tom Marino, a former United States Attorney and former district attorney for Lycoming County from 1992 to 2002. Marino won the three-way May primary with 41 percent, compared to 31 percent for chiropractor and Tea Party activist David Madeira, and 30 percent for Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk.

The campaign has already taken a harsh tone. Democrats have criticized Marino for his affiliation with Louis DeNaples, a controversial former casino owner whom a judge ruled last week owes millions to the IRS in unpaid taxes. More recently, the two candidates have traded sharp and very personal words over the issue of federal funding of abortion, which both men say they oppose.


Though no Democrat can ever rest completely easy in a district like this one, Carney heads into the final months of the campaign with a considerable advantage. Marino has not yet been able to raise the funds needed to pose a serious threat to Carney, and with so many vulnerable Democrats on the ballots this year, national Republicans certainly have safer bets to back. Carney has managed to win here twice before with respectable margins, though never in as tough a national environment. Despite the district's strong GOP roots, Marino will need to make some game-changing moves before he can hope to win this seat back for Republicans.
Yoon is spot-on. I should know, I lived in the 10th during the 2006 election when Carney defeated Sherwood.

Ah, simpler times...