Earlier this month, in fact, the Washington Post ranked an Altmire/Critz match-up as #7 on its "top 10 battles between members of Congress in 2012": "The match-up is intriguing," the Post claimed.
The more intriguing question may be not who wins, however, but how voters will tell the men apart. Can you tell the difference between one white male conservative Democrat and another? Take our test below and find out.
PART A -- VISUAL RECOGNITION
On this page are three photos, each with a letter. Which of these photos is an image of …
PART B -- FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS
1. The following organizations are among the top 10 contributors to Mark Critz's campaign. Rank them according to how much money they have contributed to his political career:
2. The following organizations are among the top 10 contributors to Jason Altmire's campaign. Rank them according to how much money they have contributed to his political career:
3. In 2010, which of the Democrats was endorsed by the National Rifle Association's political arm?
4. In 2010, which of the Democrats was endorsed by Planned Parenthood's political arm?
5. Critz and Altmire both belong to all the legislative bodies below except one. Which is it?
PART C -- LEGISLATIVE RECORD
1. Which Democrat's voting record is more conservative, according to the National Journal?
2. Which Democrat voted in favor of legislation to prohibit the EPA from taking any action on "greenhouse gases" responsible for global climate change?
3. Which Democrat cosponsored the "Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act," which allows people going bankrupt to hold onto their guns, while other assets may be seized for creditors?
4. Which Democrat cosponsored the "Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Reform Act," which would ease regulations on gun-dealers and bar creating an electronic database of gun owners?
5. Which Democrat voted to repeal "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" for U.S. military servicepeople?
PART D -- IDENTIFY THE SPEAKER
1. Which Democrat characterized his record this way in the 2010 election? "I opposed the health-care bill, and I'm pro-life and pro-gun."
2. Which Democrat ran an ad in which a voter claimed, "I like that [he] is not afraid to stand up to the president"?
3. Which Democrat wrote a letter to President Obama claiming that federal regulation of natural-gas drilling is unneeded because "an extensive network of state regulations is in place to protect local water quality while encouraging exploration and production"?
4. Which Democrat explained his opposition to raising the federal debt ceiling this way: "I intend to vote against raising the debt limit today because this legislation fails to make the real and immediate spending cuts needed to get our fiscal house in order"?
5. Which made this assertion: "As long as our debt is nearly equal to the value of our economy, the only way we will ever balance our budget is to start living within our means."
1) Critz contributors, in order: Progeny Systems, Concurrent Technologies, JWF Industries, DRS Technologies , BAE Systems
2) Altmire contributors in order: UPMC, Ibis Tek, American Hospital Association, PMA Group, Blue Cross/Blue Shield
1) B. Critz votes conservative on issues 54.5 percent of the time, to Altmire's 54.2.
3. D (from a letter signed by Critz and Altmire, along with 2 other Democrats and 4 Republicans).
5. C (the statement was actually made by a Republican, Rep. Tim Murphy)