Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Going Deeper in Pennsylvania

In February of 2008 Survey USA showed John McCain with a five point lead over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania, largely because McCain was winning a whooping 26% of the Democratic vote. Of course McCain's unusual level of crossover support was the product of the divisive primary between Obama and Hillary Clinton and in the end Obama won the state by ten points with McCain pulling just 10% of the Democratic vote in the final analysis.

When I look at our polling of the Arlen Specter/Pat Toomey race right now I see some shades of the 2008 election in Pennsylvania. Specter is actually doing a lot better with independents than most Democratic candidates are in our polling across the country right now. The reason he trailed in the poll we released last week was that Toomey won 18% of the Democratic vote. That's the highest level of crossover support we've found for any Republican challenger in the country so far this year and I somewhat doubt that's because of the hard right Toomey's reputation for moderation.

I think it's quite possible Toomey's large amount of Democratic support, like McCain's at this stage two years ago, is attributable to supporters of Joe Sestak in a somewhat rancorous primary refusing to say they will vote for Specter in the general election. Specter/Sestak certainly is not nasty on par with Clinton/Obama but it still seems to be producing enough hard feelings to drive down the general election poll numbers of both Democratic candidates. If the party rallies around Specter once he wins the nomination (which I think is a virtual certainty despite yesterday's Rasmussen numbers) he could be in a much better position six months from now just as Obama was last time. The Pennsylvania Senate race is one that may look worse for Democrats right now than it actually is.

7 comments:

Dave said...

You have to understand the level of animosity Specter has generated among Democrats during his first 29 years in office. There are a lot of people where it takes only one issue for them to make a decision. I know two Pennsylvania women who voted for Obama because Palin was Pro-Life. It didn't bother them that McCain was.

Some Democratic women in Pennsylvania will never vote for Specter for the way he treated Anita Hill. People have long memories.

Christian Liberty said...

You choose an odd comparison. It is not the contested primary that is sinking Specter, it is Obamacare.

" In June of last year, before the health care debate began in earnest, Specter had an eleven-point advantage over Toomey. But support for the senator plummeted to 36% in August after his town hall meetings with Pennsylvania voters angry over the specifics of the health care plan. Since then, support for Specter has never risen above 42%.

Sixty percent (60%) of Pennsylvania voters favor repealing the just-passed health care plan while 37% are opposed. Those figures include 47% who strongly favor repeal and 28% who are strongly opposed." (RR Apr 14)

Specter has suffered a 21 point loss with LV because of his support for Obamacare. When 60% favor repealing Obamacare and 47% STRONGLY support repeal, it is abundantly clear that Toomey is the moderate who is fully in tune with the mainstream of Pennsylvania... and Specter is the radical who is arrogantly opposing the will of the people.

How people can PRETEND that Toomey is anything other than moderate and mainstream is inexplicable.

dustin said...

I think people are forgetting, that in PA, and Nationwide, that there are a lot of new voter's, that helped get Obama over the finish line. Have you thought that maybe, we are just being quiet, and not as vocal as the Tea partiers?? We are still here, and we are still going to vote. I am "fired up, and ready to go" ! Give it time Christian Liberty, "Obamacare" will even benefit you, ultimately, and all these "nay-sayer's", will be wondering what they were fussing about, in due time.

Dave said...

The 2000 election had 9% more voters than 1996. The 2004 election had 16% more voters than 2000. The 2008 election only increased by 7% over 2004. In overall numbers the increase was only 9 million compared to 17 million four years before. So there really aren't that many new voters.

Overall Obama had 10.5 million more votes than Kerry. Around 4 million more Black voters voted for Obama than voted for Kerry. This time there were a lot of new Black voters. They don't traditionally come out for elections, let alone mid-terms. It's one thing to get excited to vote for Obama, but it's another to vote for some old white guy who has let progressives down.

John McCain got 2 million less votes than George Bush. So it's safe to say that many Republican leaning voters stayed home, while Democratic voters went to the polls.

The mid-term election will always draw less voters. The last three have drawn 38%-54% of the previous election. So it's safe to say that with a max of only 70 million voting many of your friends will stay home. Republicans appear more enthusiastic. Even if Democrats were as enthusiastic this election would be good for Republicans. Of course all the polls say that even though they are more enthusiastic than before healthcare Republicans have gotten more enthusiastic.

There are always new young voters and they always vote heavily Democratic. That's nothing new. There are also new older voters who vote Republican and many people who migrate from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party as they get older.

I'll try to remember how much Obamacare will benefit me while I watch my health insurance go up 39% in cost next month.

Christian Liberty said...

Obamacare will benefit NO ONE except the Republican party. It will be REPEALED because it will always be unpopular. Obamacare will be MORE unpopular than Prohibition. Obamacare will be MORE unpopular than Rostenkowski's catastrophic medicare supplement. Obamacare WILL be repealed. The people will DEMAND it.

More Americans (and especially more Likely Voters) favor REPEAL than favor the abominable bill itself.

Christian Liberty said...

Toomey raises twice as much $$$$ as Specter (most recent quarter).

"Arlen Specter raises $1.1M, only half of Republican Pat Toomey's $2.3M for the quarter."

http://twitter.com/politicojosh/status/12232357917

Anonymous said...

Healthcare wont be repealed. Democrats have zero incentive to work with Republicans on repeal in the way they did with the Rostenkowski act. Democrats still held Congress in 1989 and had an incentive to repeal the bill so they could hold onto Congress. If Democrats lose Congress in 2010, they have no incentive to work with any Republcan majority on anything. They will filibuster every single bill that Republicans try to pass. Its payback time.

 
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