Rep. Paul Kanjorski, one of the strongest champions of credit unions on Capitol Hill, trails his GOP challenger Lou Barletta by seven percentage points, according to a poll released today by Franklin & Marshall College.
Barletta, the mayor of Hazleton, Pa., leads Kanjorski (D-Pa.) 47%-40% among likely voters, with 12% undecided. Among all registered voters, Barletta leads 45%-38%, with 16% undecided.
Among registered voters, 36% rated Kanjorski's job performance as "excellent" or "good,'' and 36% say he deserves reelection.
Kanjorski, the No.2 Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, is the lead sponsor of legislation to raise the cap on member business loans and has been the main backer of other bills that credit unions have supported. In 2008, the House passed Kanjorski's legislation to allow federal credit unions to apply to serve underserved areas outside their field of service. Loans in those communities and to religious non-profit institutions would not count against their MBL cap. The Senate never took up the bill.
Although Kanjorski's district in Northeast Pennsylvania is Democratic leaning, he has had several difficult races. In 2008, while President Obama won the district with 57% of the vote, Kanjorski had a close race and wound up defeating Barletta 52%-48%.