Politics & Policy

What Do Joe Sestak and Rick Santorum Have in Common? Probably Only This…

Roderick Random at The Scranton Times-Tribune has a controversial take on Joe Sestak’s inability to close his polling gap with Pat Toomey in the senate contest: Joe Sestak is this cycle’s Rick Santorum.

Here’s a theory: Democrat Joe Sestak is turning into Republican Rick Santorum. Go to RealClearPolitics.com and read the polls in Pennsylvania’s Senate race. Then, look up the polls from 2006 when Mr. Santorum ran against state Treasurer Bob Casey. The parallels are amazing.

In 51 polls after the May 2006 primary election, Mr. Santorum never got closer than 4 percentage points and lost by 18.

In 27 polls after the primary this year, Republican former congressman Pat Toomey has led 23. Mr. Sestak led only the first two after the primary gave him a bump. Once in June, once in July, they tied. […]

Look more closely at the polling and Democrats must worry. Since hitting 46 percent in a poll immediately after the primary, Mr. Sestak, in 24 polls, has been between 36 percent and 43 percent 88.9 percent of the time.

Mr. Santorum was between 36 and 43 percent in 46 of the 51 post-primary polls, or 90.2 percent of the time.

Analysts marveled how Mr. Santorum barely broke 40 percent no matter what he tried, and Mr. Sestak finds himself in the same predicament.

“Nothing that Sestak seems to do makes much difference,” said Jack Treadway, Ph.D., a retired Kutztown University political science professor. “It doesn’t seem to move the numbers at all and he’s running out of time.” [emphasis added]

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