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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Quinnipiac: Toomey Only Leads by Two



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Quinnipiac offers new numbers in Pennsylvania:

The race for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat is now a statistical dead heat with Republican Pat Toomey getting 48 percent of likely voters to 46 percent for Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 50 – 43 percent likely voter lead for Toomey, a former congressman, in a September 22 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

Toomey is beating Sestak 88 – 8 percent among Republicans and 56 – 35 percent among independent voters.  But Sestak is winning 89 – 7 percent among Democrats. Thirteen percent of Toomey’s voters and 9 percent of Sestak backers say they might change their mind before Election Day.  The 5 percent of undecided voters includes 9 percent of independent voters.

“Pennsylvania is a blue state and Democrats there have begun to come home,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “They are more engaged than they were earlier in the race.  This is not unusual, especially in off-year elections. Democrats often engage later in the campaign than do Republicans.  The political environment is more favorable now for them, as evidenced by President Barack Obama’s improved, but still decidedly negative, job approval rating.”

President Obama gets a negative 44 – 53 percent job approval rating, compared to a negative 40 – 56 percent September 22.

One of my readers is worried:

I refuse to believe that in a year where my state is going to elect a Republican Governor, give 4-6 house seats back to the Republicans, return 0 house seats to the Democrats, with no Philadelphia presence in state or local races (no mayoral race, no Philadelphia based candidate in the governors race) that the state is going to send a Democrat who voted for the trifecta of stimulus, cap and trade, and healthcare to the Senate.Yet after watching the debate tonight I am getting concerned.  

Sestak is difficult to dislike, and even tougher to debate.  The only one who makes up facts more glibly than Joe is Boxer out in California.

Oh, come on. We’ve all watched Joe Biden.

 His nonsense about 200 terror trials under George Bush, his plan to save Social Security, his support for PAYGO, his We the People crap, it is stunning.  But I must say he sells this BS well.

I could be critical because I am expecting perfection or seeing bogeymen where they don’t exist, but I thought Toomey looked off balance tonight.  I was really surprised that he didn’t push back harder on what the economy looked like in January 2005 when he left the Congress and what has happened to it since Sestak came to Congress.  At one point Sestak talked about coming to Congress in the middle of the recession and Toomey let him get away with it.  There was no recession in January of 2007!!

Sestak just released a new ad with his cute dog and cute family.  Something about hating to vote for the bailouts but had to vote for them to clean up after the Toomey/Bush years, just like he hates to clean up after the dog, but hey, you gotta do it.  Unreal.

I think a lot of fact-based accusations don’t stick to Sestak because he is smart enough not to address them.  Ask him about his support for CAIR and he talks about running a battleship in the Persian Gulf.  Ask him about cutting half a trillion bucks from Medicare and you’ll get a story about his daughter with brain cancer who would be dead without his vote for healthcare, or his time in the military and their bang up family medical plan, or both.  But certainly nothing about Medicare will appear in the answer. So while it is great that some pro-Israel PAC is dropping a million bucks in Philadelphia the next two weeks, I don’t see their money working much.

What would work is an ad showing job creation from 1999-2005 or the unemployment at that time and another one showing the same numbers from 2007-2010.  Hope someone gets on that before victory becomes defeat.

I notice in the Quinnipiac poll, only 14 percent of Pennsylvanians think the economy is getting better.


Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey


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