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Tags: Pat Toomey

Are They Still Swing States When They’re Not Competitive?



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BOOM:

Republican Marco Rubio continues to hold a double-digit lead over independent candidate Charlie Crist in Florida’s contentious race for the U.S. Senate. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Florida finds Rubio with 41% support. Crist, the state’s current governor, earns 30% of the vote, with Democrat Kendrick Meek still running third with 23%. Two percent (2%) like another candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

BOOM:

Republican Rob Portman now earns his highest level of support to date against Democrat Lee Fisher in the U.S. Senate race in Ohio. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters, including leaners, finds Portman picking up 49% of the vote, while Fisher gets 41% support. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

POW:

GOP hopeful Pat Toomey holds an 8-point lead over Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in the battle for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, according to polling released Wednesday morning by Rasmussen Reports. Toomey, a Republican activist and former congressman, leads 49 percent to Sestak’s 41 percent among 500 likely voters questioned Sept. 13; the margin of error was 4 points.

Hey, it’s not like a national party has to be competitive in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Tags: Marco Rubio , Pat Toomey , Rob Portman

The DCCC’s Ad Offensive Shrinks Again



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Hmmm.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s television ad reservation adjustments have hit northeastern Pennsylvania, where Reps. Christopher Carney (D) and Paul Kanjorski (D) will see a little less air cover from the national party in the final weeks of the campaign than originally expected.

The DCCC has withdrawn half a week’s worth of their original five-week reservation in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre media market that covers most of Carney’s 10th district and Kanjorski’s 11th district. It’s unclear if the draw down was meant for just one or both races.

Democratic officials insist the reservation adjustment in Pennsylvania was done from a position of strength.

Brian Faughnan wonders if this is a side effect of Toomey leading, and perhaps running away with, the Pennsylvania Senate race. (Republican Tom Corbett is running away with the governor’s race.) If that’s the case, one has to wonder whether the scheduled DCCC ad buys in Pittsburgh, Erie, Wilkes-Barre and Johnstown, Pennsylvania will stick around. 

Tags: Christopher Carney , Pat Toomey , Paul Kanjorski , Tom Corbett

Good News for GOP in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California



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The only bad news for Republicans in the latest batch of polls from Fox News is from Florida’s governor’s race:

Florida: Marco Rubio (R) leads Gov. Charlie Crist (I) in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 27%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 21%. Alex Sink (D) is ahead of Rick Scott (R) in the race for governor, 49% to 41%.

Nevada: Sharron Angle (R) edges Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 44%.

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey (R) leads Rep. Joe Sestak (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 41%.

Ohio: Rob Portman (R) leads Lee Fisher (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 41%. John Kasich (R) is ahead of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in the race for governor, 48% to 43%.

California: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) edges Carly Fiorina (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 44%. Meg Whitman (R) is ahead of Jerry Brown (D) in the race for governor, 49% to 43%.

Most of these results are in line with other polls, but I suspect Sharron Angle’s supporters will be cheered at a non-Rasmussen poll* showing her ahead.

UPDATE: Eh, it’s sort of not Rasmussen: “Pulse Opinion Research licenses methodology developed by veteran pollster Scott Rasmussen, providing a survey platform for a host of clients, from individuals to special-interest groups. In fact, we provide the field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys. We have also collected data for presidential campaigns and top-tier political professionals from across the political spectrum. Over the period from 2003 to 2009, Pulse generated 18% of its revenue from Republican sources, 20% from Democrats and 61% from sources not affiliated with either major party.”

Tags: Carly Fiorina , Meg Whitman , Pat Toomey , Rick Scott , Rob Portman , Sharron Angle

TOOMSDAY!



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A margin of nine percentage points is a “slight lead”? Come on, AP. Live a little!

A new poll shows Republican Pat Toomey slightly ahead of Democrat Joe Sestak in their U.S. Senate race.

The Franklin & Marshall College poll shows Toomey with the support of 40 percent of likely voters to Sestak’s 31 percent. About a quarter remain undecided with about 9 weeks left until the November 2 general election.

Thursday’s poll also shows Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett leading his Democratic counterpart. The state attorney general has an 11-point lead over Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato with 31 percent of likely voters undecided.

The poll of 577 Pennsylvanians was conducted the week ending Monday. The sampling error margin is plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.

This is why November 2 is . . . TOOMSDAY!

Oh, I’m sure you’re tired of the Toomey/Toom/Doom puns, but right now that’s about all that’s left that’s not predictable about this race. This is the third straight poll putting Toomey up by 8 or more. Sestak’s giving off a Creigh Deeds-y vibe. This race is a few more lopsided polls from turning into Arkansas.

Speaking of Arkansas, yesterday the NRSC distributed a release slamming Blanche Lincoln on taxes, and I thought, “Isn’t there some Little League mercy rule she can invoke?” She’s an incumbent who’s on pace to lose by about 30. Come on, guys, leave her with a little dignity.

UPDATE: I think that this may very well be the coolest t-shirt in the history of political campaigns:

 November 2, 2010.'

Tags: Blanche Lincoln , Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Latest PPP Poll Spells Toomsday for Sestak



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I’ve given Public Policy Polling some grief about their polls, contending that because they don’t weight for party, many of their polls this year have presumed a throughly unrealistic level of turnout among Democrats.

Well, give them a bit of credit; they have now shifted from polling “registered voters” to “likely voters.” And the results are dramatic:

In PPP’s previous survey of the Pennsylvania Senate race in June, Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak were dead even at 41% among occasional voters. In the first survey using its likely-voter model, however, PPP now finds Toomey jumping out to a 9-point lead, 45-36, with 20% still undecided.

Their release spends a paragraph trying to explain that they think their sample was too conservative.

Also noteworthy: President Obama’s approval/disapproval splits at 40/55 among likely voters in Pennsylvania.

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey , PPP

The Toomsday Clock Ticks . . . and Ticks . . . and Ticks . . .



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Rasmussen puts Toomey up 6 over Sestak.

Perhaps the most eye-opening figure in the poll? Twenty-seven percent see Toomey’s views as “extreme,” while 39 percent see Sestak the same way.

Also:

Support for Sestak has remained in the 36% to 40% range in matchups with Toomey back to February, except for a brief surge after his mid-May victory over incumbent Arlen Specter in the state’s Democratic Senate Primary. During that same time frame, Toomey has received 42% to 47% of the vote.

With figures like that, it appears the Democrat’s chances are Toomed.

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Will Democrats Accept the DSCC Spending Bucks to Save Barbara Boxer?



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Over in Politico it is written:

Most people agree that [California Sen. Barbara] Boxer, despite her fundraising prowess and deep network of donors, will require an infusion of DSCC cash. Her rival, Republican Carly Fiorina, is another partial self-funder, but she won’t have the same level of cash to throw around as her ticketmate, gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. Still, the polls suggest the race is tight, and a long-serving incumbent is at risk. “They don’t want to lose Boxer, and they don’t want to lose California,” Sheinkopf said, noting how expensive it is to win back a lost seat in the Golden State because its media costs are so prohibitive.

Boxer has $11 million on hand, and has an 11-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over Fiorina. (Keep in mind, Fiorina can at least partially self-finance.) By comparison, in Ohio, Democrat Lee Fisher is faces a 9-to-1 disadvantage to Republican Rob Portman, and in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey has $4.5 million to Joe Sestak’s $2 million on hand. In other words, there are other Democrats who will really, really need DSCC funds this cycle; you have to wonder how they’ll feel about the national committee pumping funds to a candidate sitting on so much cash.

Tags: Barbara Boxer , Carly Fiorina , Joe Sestak , Lee Fisher , Pat Toomey , Rob Portman

Some Curious Numbers Out of Pennsylvania . . .



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Quinnipiac has Pennsylvania’s Senate race a 43–43 tie between Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak.

Curiously, “In today’s results, Democrats back Sestak 77 – 11 percent while Republicans go with Toomey 82 – 11 percent.  Independent voters back Toomey 44 – 35 percent, compared to 46 – 30 percent May 13.” His favorable is the highest recorded by Quinnipiac (35 percent) and while his unfavorable is also the highest it has been, it’s pretty low (13 percent). Joe Sestak’s 32 percent favorable is actually down a tiny bit from May.

Obama’s job approval/disapproval is at 46/49, the second lowest it has been.

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Set Your Toomsday Clock One Quarter Ahead



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The Democrats’ chances of keeping Arlen Specter’s Senate seat are looking grimmer with Sestak’s fundraising challenges. You might even say they’re Toomed: “U.S. Senate candidate and former small business owner Pat Toomey broke a new fundraising record for the second quarter of 2010 and out-raised his opponent Congressman Joe Sestak by over $1 million.  Pat raised $3.1 million and the campaign has $4.65 million cash on hand.”

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

The Toomsday Clock Ticks Ever Louder as November Approaches . . .



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Rasmussen finds Republican Pat Toomey ahead of Democrat Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, 45 percent to 39 percent.

I’m sure that there are some folks out there who are skeptical of Rasmussen’s numbers, but a lot of those folks had faith in the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll numbers until this week.

Although if Sestak continues to slip, we may understand why some Pennsylvania Democrats are “wondering about the pace and direction of his bid.

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

The Toomsday Clock Ticks Louder



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I’m already hearing lefties insist these new numbers from Rasmussen can’t possibly be accurate:

Congressman Joe Sestak’s post-primary bounce appears to over, and he now trails Republican rival Pat Toomey by seven points in the U.S. Senate contest in Pennsylvania. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Pennsylvania shows Toomey with 45% support, while Sestak earns 38%. Five percent (5%) prefer another candidate in the race, and 12% are undecided.

Look, if this whole thing doesn’t work out for Sestak, I’m sure the White House can find him an unpaid job on an advisory committee.

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Specter Can Avoid His Toomsday, but Sestak Is Still Toomed



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Toomeyworld isn’t too worried about a poll showing their man trailing by a bit in the general election against Sestak.

The sense is, with $5 million in ads in the past couple of days, and his victory over one of the state’s giants dominating the headlines, Sestak was due for a big bump. There’s a suspicion that right now, most Pennsylvanians know Sestak just as a former Navy officer who didn’t switch parties as recently as Specter did.

In that same poll, Rasmussen found:

Among voters not affiliated with either major political party in the state, Toomey leads 41% to 32%.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, while 52% disapprove. Those numbers include 27% who strongly approve of the president’s performance and 39% who strongly disapprove.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of Pennsylvania voters favor repeal of the health care law, which is slightly higher than results found nationwide. Thirty-five percent (35%) oppose repeal of the law. Those numbers include 47% who strongly favor repeal and 25% who strongly oppose it.

I’m also reminded of last year’s Virginia governor’s race, where Creigh Deeds surprised everyone by winning the primary by a wide margin over Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran. A few days later, Rasmussen showed him up 47 percent to 41 percent. It turned out to be the only poll Deeds led over McDonnell the entire year, and McDonnell won by the widest margin by a GOP gubernatorial nominee ever in Virginia, 59 percent to 41 percent.

UPDATE: One of my favorite readers, Number Cruncher, weighs in:

If I were Sestak’s campaign manager, I would be disappointed with that.  Mark it down, the next time Rasmussen polls this race Toomey will be up again by 3 to 5, probably winning by about 6 or 7.  Trust me, this is a lousy bounce, I expected Sustak to be up by 8 or 9 in this Democratic State.  Lets see his 46 percent when Toomey starts comparing Sustak to Pelosi and Reid.

Tags: Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Quick, Good News for Rand Paul, Joe Sestak



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A primary bounce that’s good for the GOP:

Rand Paul, riding the momentum of his big Republican Primary win on Tuesday, now posts a 25-point lead over Democrat Jack Conway in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, but there’s a lot of campaigning to go.

A primary bounce that’s bad for the GOP:

Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak’s victory over longtime Senator Arlen Specter for his party’s nomination Tuesday has given him a bounce in support in Pennsylvania’s general election for U.S. Senate. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Sestak picking up 46 percent support over Republican nominee Pat Toomey’s 42 percent.

Tags: Jack Conway , Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey , Rand Paul

Doesn’t Anybody Want to Listen to Arlen Specter?



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Campaign Spot reader Paul noticed this line in the fourth paragraph of a story on ABC News:

Specter kicked off a day of appearances in and around his home city of Philadelphia at a rally at a sprawling cargo terminal along the Delaware River, which is being deepened to allow the entry of larger ships in a dredging project for which the former Republican has led the fight over much of his 30-year Senate career. It is expected to create an estimated 125,000 jobs.

“The job’s not finished, and I need another term in office to bring these 125,000 jobs to this region,” he told reporters just before speaking at a windy, riverfront rally that attracted about 100 union members.

Really? The longtime incumbent comes out to a Democratic stronghold, two days away from the primary, and only 100 union members show up? That seems like a giant red flag.

Yesterday I got to hear a bit of Specter’s debate with Democratic primary rival Joe Sestak*. Obviously, I’m not a Democrat, but if I were, I think I would prefer Sestak; he kept bringing up Specter’s ties to the Bush administration and other Republican efforts.

Specter, for his part, mentioned at least four times that he stood up to “the Tea Party Gang.” Besides making critics of the health-care plan sound like a Dick Tracy villain, no one made much out of the fact that Specter was bragging about standing up to his own constituents.

The good news for Republican Pat Toomey is that the two Democrats spent the debate trying to out-liberal each other; each one insisted that he was more opposed to extending the Bush tax cuts, more supportive of gun control, etc. That may sell in a Democratic primary, but will be a much tougher sell in a general election, particularly in a year like this.

*I originally wrote Stupak. Of course, if Specter wins Tuesday, it means this was a terrible year to be a Rust Belt House Democrat with a last name that starts with “S” and ends with “ak.”

Tags: Arlen Specter , Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Or the Two Democrats Could Merge to Form ‘Specstak’



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Three polls out this morning in Pennsylvania’s primary: the Morning Call tracking poll finds Sestak and Specter tied at 45 percent each; Quinnipiac finds Specter ahead by 2 percentage points, and Franklin and Marshall finds Sestak ahead by 2 percentage points.

I’m sticking with my prediction of a Sestak win, but the optimum scenario for Republican Pat Toomey — a narrow Specter win that leaves a lot of Democrats unenthused about their turncoat nominee — still looks like a real possibility.

Tags: Arlen Specter , Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey

Doomsday May Come Before Toomsday For Arlen Specter



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I’ll make an audacious prediction: Joe Sestak will beat Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary.

Sestak appears to be closing the gap a bit. I imagine Specter’s name ID advantage built most of his early lead, and Sestak’s television offensive is starting to pick up steam. Specter is trying a Crist-style negative barrage, but I don’t think that is going to work for a lot of entrenched incumbents this year. Negative ads haven’t done much for Jon Corzine or Charlie Crist in recent months.

What’s more, I think this is a rather important test of the self-respect of Pennsylvania Democrats. President Obama and Vice President Biden, eager to get that 60th vote, tried to ensure a clear primary for Specter. But ultimately, who represents Keystone State Democrats isn’t up to some guy from Delaware and some guy from Hawaii California New York Illinois the District of Columbia. Most Pennsylvania Democrats have been voting against Arlen Specter for the better part of a generation; it ought to take more than a year and a half of toeing the party line for them to forget all the times they’ve disagreed with him, and/or his recent murmurs that maybe he should have remained in the GOP. If they really do back Specter because the DSCC tell them to, they rank among biggest political cheap dates of all time.

I think Pat Toomey will have a slightly tougher race against Sestak; by eliminating the incumbent, it takes away the clearest contrast between a candidate of change and a candidate of more-of-the-same. But Toomey will be running against Washington, and either Democrat will be seen as part of “the system.” Sestak voted for health care, voted for the stimulus, voted for cap-and-trade, and he’s F-rated by the NRA.

(I would argue that the ideal scenario for Toomey fans is a narrow win for Specter, and that scenario seems quite possible.)

Tags: Arlen Specter , Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey , Pennsylvania

Doomsday May Come Before Toomsday for Arlen Specter



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I’ll make an audacious prediction: Joe Sestak will beat Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary.

Sestak appears to be closing the gap a bit. I imagine Specter’s name-ID advantage built most of his early lead, and Sestak’s television offensive is starting to pick up steam. Specter is trying a Crist-style negative barrage, but I don’t think that is going to work for a lot of entrenched incumbents this year. Negative ads haven’t done much for Jon Corzine or Charlie Crist in recent months.

What’s more, I think this is a rather important test of the self-respect of Pennsylvania Democrats. President Obama and Vice President Biden, eager to get that 60th vote, tried to ensure a clear primary for Specter. But ultimately, who represents Keystone State Democrats isn’t up to some guy from Delaware and some guy from Hawaii California New York Illinois the District of Columbia. Most Pennsylvania Democrats have been voting against Arlen Specter for the better part of a generation; it ought to take more than a year and a half of toeing the party line for them to forget all the times they’ve disagreed with him, and/or his recent murmurs that maybe he should have remained in the GOP. If they really do back Specter because the DSCC tells them to, they rank among the biggest political cheap dates of all time.

I think Pat Toomey will have a slightly tougher race against Sestak; by eliminating the incumbent, it takes away the clearest contrast between a candidate of change and a candidate of more-of-the-same. But Toomey will be running against Washington, and either Democrat will be seen as part of “the system.” Sestak voted for health care, voted for the stimulus, voted for cap-and-trade, and is F-rated by the NRA.

(I would argue that the ideal scenario for Toomey fans is a narrow win for Specter, and that scenario seems quite possible.)

Tags: Arlen Specter , Joe Sestak , Pat Toomey , Pennsylvania

Too Late to Go Back Now, Arlen



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Oh, Arlen.

At times, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has wondered if he should have stayed a Republican.

For three decades, Specter prided himself on being a coalition builder, relishing a self-appointed role as a liaison striving to find the moderate solutions to liberal and conservative extremes.

Now as a Democrat, that role has vanished. For that reason alone, Specter has questioned his storied party switch.

‘’Well, I probably shouldn’t say this,’’ he said over lunch last month. ‘’But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.’’

Meanwhile, Pat Toomey is touting the SpecterSwitch.

Tags: Arlen Specter , Pat Toomey

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