September 29th, 2010
07:45 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN 100: Dems unlikely to make a dent on Dent.

Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here . Today's featured district is:

Pennsylvania 15: Rep. Charlie Dent (R) defends his seat
Primary: May 18, 2010
Location: Allentown, Bethlehem
Days until the election: 34

This is one of the few races where Democrats are trying for a pick-up. Rep. Charlie Dent (R) is seeking his fourth term in a district that voted for Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008. It is a tough year for the Democrats to (to say the least) but this is one place where they hope to have a shot. Their candidate is local mayor John Callahan.

Callahan, who has served the town of Bethlehem for five years, has the advantage of deep roots in the district, bolstered by the left-leaning electorate. The downside of his candidacy this year: a national environment which is serving as a drag to even the most promising Democratic hopefuls.

Also a downside: the fact that Callahan raised the local sales tax in his town, which gives the GOP a nice little argument as they try to paint him as a "big spending, big deficits" Democrat. One of Dent's latest ads even refers to "financial disaster."

It is a powerful argument, particularly as voters worry about the economy, and it seems to be resonating. A recent poll shows Dent with a more than ten-point lead against Callahan. Senior non-partisan political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg says that the race is now categorized as "Republican favored."

Both candidates are well-funded. Dent has raised a little over $1.7 million compared to Callahan's more than $1.4 million. As we head into the final month before the election, both candidates have enough cash-on-hand - close to a million dollars each - to duel it out to the end.


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Dent • CNN 100 • Pennsylvania
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Bernice

    Let them vote..they better be sure & do their homework..Once it's done, like it or not..there's no turning back

    September 29, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. King

    You will not ballance by only cutting teachers, police, fire fighters. City, state ana fed workers. We all have to participate with hire taxes if we are serious about this debt. The repugs shouted bloody murder the other day when the fed let go 10000 census workers and brought the unemployment rate up to 9.6 and all they talk about is cutting government. They are such hiprocrits.

    September 29, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. King

    You will not ballance the budget by only cutting teachers, police, fire fighters. City, state ana fed workers. We all have to participate with hire taxes if we are serious about this debt. The repugs shouted bloody murder the other day when the fed let go 1,00000 census workers and brought the unemployment rate up to 9.6 and all they preach about is cutting government. They are such hiprocrits.

    September 29, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Zack

    There not going to "dent" Dent with a cheap pun like that I can assure you.

    September 29, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...they try to paint him as a "big spending, big deficits" Democrat. One of Dent's latest ads even refers to "financial disaster."

    Because he RAISED taxes – locally – it is obvious it was for 'local' reasons. It does not mean BIG SPENDING, it sounds more like 'REPAIRING' a deficit or "KEEPING PEOPLE EMPLOYED', something like that.

    Every STATE and every DISTRICT needs to remember that these races are LOCAL. If the mayor IS and HAVE BEEN a good mayor – the VOTERS should decide on whether or not he would be a GOOD representative – NO outsiders – NO tea party folks coming in and spreading the partisanship and that's that!!!

    DEMOCRATS – STATE the CASE and mean it – UNITE the BASE and believe in it – WIN this RACE and be proud of it!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia – not TSACK my Impersonator – and I believe and approve this message!!!

    September 29, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Well, look at the track record.....Gore, Kerry, and Obama. They need to go for someone who gets the job done.

    September 29, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Alisha

    Clearly you don't know what you're talking about. I live in this district. Dent voted to raise the national debt by $3 trillion, bailed out wall street and this is a district that Obama won by 13 points. Callahan has served the City of Bethlehem for thirteen years – did you bother to call his campaign before you published this?

    September 29, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |