« Netroots Candidates: Call for Nominations | Main | NY-29: AFL-CIO Defects to Massa »

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

PA-Sen: Tightening

Posted by James L.

Lordy, I sure do hope that this is an outlier (Quinnipiac, June in parens):

Bob Casey (D): 47 (52)
Rick Santorum (R-Inc.): 40 (34)
Undecided: 11 (12)
MoE: ±3.1%

In a three-way general election match-up that includes "Green" Party candidate Carl Romanelli, the lead is ever so slightly narrower:

Bob Casey (D): 48
Rick Santorum (R-Inc.): 42
Carl Romanelli (Green): 5
Undecided: 5

I'll say this delicately: if Bob Casey allows Rick Santorum, one of the creepiest and most off-the-wall members of the Senate, to somehow dig his way out of his political tomb, then Casey will prove himself to be one of the most incompetent and disastrous challengers of the 2006 cycle. Casey has a reputation for being the sleepy Mr. Rogers of Pennsylvania politics; he's going to have to learn to go for the kill and not let Santorum get away with inoculating himself with warm 'n' fuzzy TV ads. Remember Santorum's recent book in which he sung the virtues of "conservative family values", including making sure that women stay barefoot in the kitchen? This guy's entire career is just one big negative ad waiting to write itself. If Bob Casey thinks he can casually stroll to victory based on a year's worth of very favorable poll results, he may be in for a rude awakening.

Fortunately, Casey's still got a very fertile field to play in: 49% of Pennsylvania voters believe that Santorum doesn't deserve to be re-elected. That's insanely bad for an incumbent. But if Casey lets what could have been a blowout turn into a nailbiter, we're going to see a lot more resources and manpower spent on shoring up his campaign that could have been directed elsewhere by the DSCC. Still, we should wait to see if this trend is verified by other polling outfits before we get ahead of ourselves. If one thing can be said about this race, it's that there's never been a shortage of polls on it.

Posted at 10:51 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Pennsylvania | Technorati

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


People have been underestimating Santorum for far too long. The man is a wacko, but he is also a political genius who has the fire-in-the-belly a good candidate needs.

Posted by: dantheman [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 12:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Interesting how when polling goes from a two way race to a three way race with the Green candidate added in both Casey's & Santorum's poll numbers go up. Also, does anyone really think Casey would beat a two term incumbent by double digits? Of course this race will narrow but in the end Casey will win by at least 3% but not more than 6%. The only thing these polls really show to me is the Green candidate chips away at some of Casey's support.

Posted by: AndTun1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 12:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

In my opinion, Casey has run a bad campaign. Its not enough to just sit with your hands behind you head and let everyone marvel at how stupid Santorum is. Crazy or not, Santorum is the incumbent and Casey is the challenger- he has to take the fight to Santorum, and with all of "Man on Dog"'s wignuttery, that should be VERY easy to do.
Still, I think this poll has to be a little off. There is no reason that Santorum's support would jump six points out of nowhere like that. I do expect the race to tighten, but I think Casey will ultimately win by at least 5%. Having Rendell pull away from Swann atop the ticket doesnt hurt either.

Posted by: AC4508 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 12:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wasn't there news that the Green party nominee would be kicked off the ballot because his signatures were all fake?

Posted by: jkfp2004 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 02:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think it's still up in the air, jkfp. The Greens know their signature situation reeks, so now they're arguing that they only need 16k signatures! Who knows how that will fly.

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 03:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

No one seems to have noticed that the two match-ups given in the poll are not comparable: The one with Romanelli is of LVs, while the one without is of

Since Romanelli is almost certain to be kicked off, it would make sense for Quinnipiac to do an LV survey without Romanelli fairly soon. I'm willing to bet that Casey is over 50 in any such poll.

Posted by: Craig McLaughlin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 04:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's also true that even if the Green candidate is on the ballot, he's unlikely to do as well as he polls. Seems like third party candidate's support always drops by about half on election day.

Posted by: dantheman [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 05:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Geeze, this is like "Night of the Living Dead". Hopefully this is just one example of Quinnipiac's volatile track record and not a turnaround in the Keystone State. Of course this did come during the period Rendell made kissy face with Sanitarium...

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 08:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with AndTun1. Firstly, there is no need to have a panic attack. The fact that Santorum is a) an incumbent and b) have a team of political diabolical geniuses like Emperor Rove behind him, it is to be expected his lead will narrow. However, Casey needs to really start taking this race with some caution and go on the offensive to finish Santorum off.

Secondly, it is a concern to see Santorum's number rise with Romanelli's presence on the ballot. However, even if he somehow sneaks his way onto the ballot, Casey should still win by a

Thirdly, I am optimistic by the fact that Rendell is still polling well enough and also Santorum's approving rating is still in the dumps. Like I said guys, no need to panic...just yet.

Posted by: CanadianDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 11:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I for one wish Casey would get on the air; there's about 3 Santorum ads during the 1/2 hour local 6:00 news and I haven't seen anything from Casey.

It's not too different from Rendell; his numbers were soft and then after he saturated the airways with ads, with no response from Swann, his numbers improved greatly. I don't think this is an outlier; I think it represents Santorum shoring up his soft support.

Posted by: nttnypride [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 12:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

One point about Casey's TV game: It costs nearly a million dollars a wekk to do full ad buys in all six PA media markets. That's a lot of money, and while Rendell and Santorum have enough to cover that this early out, neither Casey nor Swann can match that. I'd expect Casey's blitz to begin in early September.

Posted by: Craig McLaughlin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 01:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment