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Spratt battling uphill to retain seat (AUDIO)

A poll released Wednesday shows that 14-term 5th District Congressman John Spratt is in a fight for his political life against GOP challenger State senator Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land.

The poll shows Mulvaney opening up a 49-39 percent lead over Spratt. The phone survey of 499 likely voters in the 5th district was conducted by the Washington firm Penn Schoen (shown) Berland.

Officials with the Spratt campaign argue that the poll has flawed methodology, saying it forecasts a low African American turnout and was conducted two weeks ago. Winthrop University Political Science professor Dr. Scott Huffmon tends to agree that the race is too close to call. 

Dr. Huffmon directs the Winthrop Poll Initiative.

Mulvaney has created momentum thanks in large measure to the support of the Tea Party Movement in the state. However, Huffmon says Spratt has countered that momentum with several television ads attacking Mulvaney for “profiting” from a failed land development project in Lancaster County and other ads stating that Mulvaney wants to abolish Social Security. Huffmon says the ads seemed to have fired up Spratt’s base of supporters and raise suspicions about Mulvaney.

Huffmon says if Spratt, the current Chairman of the House Budget Committee, is to hold on to earn a 15th term in Congress he will have to energize his base to get out to the polls, while cutting his loses to a bare minimum in the Republican strongholds in the district.

 AUDIO: Huffmon says 5th District race will go down to the wire 1:19

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