State Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport leads Republican opponent Harry Rogers by a margin of 55.2 percent to 30.3 percent, according to a Lycoming College poll released this week.
Lycoming students under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Williamson, chair of the college's Department of Political Science, surveyed 325 likely voters in the 83rd state District during the week of Sept. 23.
The results revealed that 14.4 percent of those polled were undecided.
The survey considered a random selection of people who voted in elections or have registered to vote since 2010.
The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 5.4 percent.
"Voters are just beginning to focus attention on these races down the ballot, so there is still room for movement," Williamson noted. "However, these results indicate that Mirabito holds a substantial lead that Rogers would need to overcome with the election just more than a month away."
The sample included 47.6 registered Republicans, 41.3 percent registered Democrats and 11.1 percent registered Independents.
The question asked of voters was: "If the election for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives were held today would you vote for Rick Mirabito, the Democratic incumbent; Harry Rogers Jr., the Republican challenger; or someone else to represent the 83rd legislative district of Pennsylvania?"
Williamson noted that the results are somewhat surprising given the majority of Republicans in the district.
"Generally, incumbents have some advantage, but those things do balance themselves out," he said.
Williamson noted that many voters don't greatly consider House races until closer to the election.
He also noted that local Republicans tend to show a heavier turnout at the polls on election day than Democrats
Mirabito said it must be kept in mind that races are decided at the ballot box.
"I would hope people would get out and support me on election day and not to take for granted anything," he said. "I've worked to represent the district and work on behalf of rural issues, regardless of parties."
Williamson said it was decided to conduct a poll for this particular race since it appears to be one of the more interesting local ones. He expects a second poll to be conducted on the same race later this month.
Rogers could not be reached for comment for this story.