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Thursday, September 29, 2005

PA-Sen: Casey Lead Down to Eight & Santorum Revelations

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Chock full of discoveries today in Pennsylvania.

1.) We found out that Bob Casey would have voted to confirm Judge Roberts.

2.) Rick Santorum used to be very pro-choice, and as a young lady, his wife lived with a doctor who co-founded Pennsylvania's first abortion clinic.

3.) Bob Casey's lead over Rick Santorum is down to eight points, from anywhere between tweleve and fifteen in recent studies.

Among the 54 percent of Pennsylvania voters dissatisfied with Bush's job performance, only 9 percent intend to support Santorum while 57 percent back his likely Democratic challenger, Bob Casey Jr. Overall, Casey leads Santorum, 37 percent to 29 percent, with 31 percent undecided. [...]

The telephone survey of 477 voters was conducted between Sept. 18 and 25 and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Opinions about Santorum, a leading conservative voice, were strongly divided. Forty percent of voters have a favorable view of him and approve of the job he's doing. But 37 percent were unfavorable, and 36 percent disapproved of his job performance.

Twenty-nine percent of voters had a favorable view of Casey, while only 12 percent were unfavorable. But 57 percent were neutral toward Casey, and 3 percent had not heard of him at all. Casey being a blank slate with most voters could work in Santorum's advantage as the campaign goes on and voters learn more about the challenger, Borick said.

And there you go.

Posted at 02:50 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati

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Only one Uni poll in the country can be taken seriously and that is Quinnipiac.

Posted by: nickshepDEM [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2005 07:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's a response to this post:


Posted by: Samson [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2005 09:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Maybe it is too early to really tell whether Casey's lead is going down. However, it seems awful convenient for Casey supporters that when a poll doesn't show your candidate with as strong of a lead, the poll isn't reliable.

Even if you only want to trust Quinnipiac's polls, a recent Quinnipiac poll found that 64% of Pennsylvanians believe abortion should remain legal. In late April '05 Quinnipiac found that 38% of respondents said they didn't know enough about Casey to form an opinion of him. 74% didn't know his position on abortion and 9% mistakenly thought he was pro-choice. Only 18 % agreed with the anti-choice positions held by Casey and Santorum while 14 % would be very likely (and 25% said they would be somewhat likely) to vote for an independent pro-choice candidate if given the chance.


So, given all of that, why do Democrats think running anti-choicer Casey (who thinks abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest) is a good strategy for beating Santorum?

Posted by: Dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2005 12:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

From the article off the link it's unclear how voters are defined, whether likely or registered.

Considering the large percentages of undecideds, my gut tells me their methodology did not include asking a lean-to probe after an initial response of undecided. If so, we only have a read of fairly locked-in voters.

A proper follow-up probe wpould likely have picked up more soft support for Casey and put his margin around where other polls have tracked him. In any event I wouldn't read this as picking up a weakening trend for Casey.

What it does tell you, though, is a lot of folks are presuadable either way at this stage. As it's a long way out, this is understandable.

If this is the case, it's still very bad news for Man-on-Dog Rick. An incumbent way below 50 is in serious trouble. One behind by close to double-digits is flat-out endangered.

Most telling is the 19-point deficit among Indies. No Republican is going to win a statewide in PA losing Indies. As Carville stated during the Wofford Senate run, PA is Pitssburgh and Philly with Alabama in the middle. I'd love to see a regional breakdown on the Indies. If Casey is running even or ahead among central counties Indies, Santorum is facing a crisis.

Santorum was won in the past by offsetting his shortfalls in the cities with big margins in the center of the state. Casey cuts into Santorum in his base counties and sets the vote threshhold in Philly and Allegheny County for a Santorum win higher than he's ran in the past.

Casey is not an ideal candidate on some important issues, but he's a winner and a net plus in comparison with running another strongly progessive candidate and losing. His quasipopulist approach is similar to the approach we need to adopt for 2006: minimzie our exposure on social issues while thumping the GOP on a Main Street versus Wall Street economic theme.

Posted by: pinhickdrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2005 01:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


"anti-choicer Casey (who thinks abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest)"

...any documentation to prove he is against abortion in cases of rape and incest, or are you desperately grasping at straws. I'm suspecting the latter.

Posted by: BCarr [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2005 02:04 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I can't believe Bobby Casey's view on women. How can he take us for granted by ignoring our Pro-Choice beliefs. There must be a better choice out there.

Aren't You Running For Something?

Remind us -- which office is it again?

State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. says he'd support the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. That is, if he were Pennsylvania's U.S. Senator and not Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

After considering Roberts' character, resume, judicial philosophy and listening to his spectacularly unenlightening Senate testimony, "I would vote to confirm him," Casey said, promptly annoying the bejeezus out of the Democratic interest groups that are supporting his campaign and, oh yeah, opposing Roberts.

It's funny. Because if we were the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, we never would have dealt Ron Francis to the Toronto Maple Leafs two seasons ago.
But no one asks us about this stuff.

John Micek, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Posted by: Judith Stein-Stevens [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2005 04:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's an article on the which mentions Casey is against abortion even in cases of rape / incest: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPrint.asp?Page=%5CPolitics%5Carchive%5C200205%5CPOL20020502a.html

I'm not sure we've seen any evidence Casey can take away conservative Republican votes from Santorum. Why would people who vote Republican because of "Gods, Guns, and Gays" issues vote for Casey? They love Santorum! yeah, some of them are a little sore Santorum supported Specter over Toomey, but they don't trust pro-life Dems to be true pro-lifers. Another problem is socially conservative Repubs tend to agree with conservative economics, too. They have been duped into hating "big government" (i.e., social security, medicare, taxes, unions, etc). Read "What's the Matter With Kansas"- in it Thomas Frank argues Democrats don't need to move to the right, they just have to stop assuming the poor automatically realize liberal economic policies are in their best interest... What we need is a candidate who can convince the folks in "Alabama, PA" that he'll look out for them. Take Bernie Sanders in VT; he gets votes of many anti-choice, pro-gun rural voters because they trust him to put their interests ahead of their boss's. The problem with Casey is he doesn't have any specific plans for health care, outsourcing prevention, etc.

Pennacchio has been getting support from many moderate Republicans who don't like Santorum, but like Casey even less.

Progressive Harris Wofford lost in '94 but back then Santorum was unknown and portrayed himself more as a moderate "Specter" Republican (Also, Gov. Casey refused to support Wofford which didn't help things). Social conservative Ron Klink lost to Santorum in 2000, so a social conservative isn't a guaranteed win, either.

Posted by: Dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2005 04:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't believe Casey's anti-choice angle works to his advantage, particularly since abortion choice is a motivating issue for many upper-income Philadelphia suburbanite females, a demographic desperately needed by Dems for a statewide victory in Pennsylvania in the current alignment. The only area of the state where I could Casey's anti-abortion position helping him in the economically liberal/socially conservative Monongahela steel belt, but seeing as how that region is Santorum's stomping grounds, I'm not sure if the advantage would be that assured even there. Couple that with an expected uptick in the steel industry and Santorum's defeat may not be assured.

Even if Casey wins (and I definitely think his chances are good), I don't think the margin will be anywhere near as wide as what even the most pessimistic polls are showing. As someone else mentioned, this race should be treated as though we're down by 15 points.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2005 04:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment