Pennsylvania Democrats awakening?

posted at 11:53 am on October 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When polls in Pennsylvania began showing that the Senate race between Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak had narrowed to dead-heat range, the pollsters argued that Democrats in the state had begun to engage.  Some, myself among them, questioned why that dynamic hadn’t shown itself in the gubernatorial race, where Tom Corbett had enjoyed double-digit leads over Dan Onorato.  Today, Quinnipiac answers that by showing Corbett’s previous 15-point lead shrinking to just five in the final two weeks:

In the Pennsylvania governor’s race, Democrat Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County Executive, has erased most of State Attorney General Tom Corbett’s 15-point likely voter lead and now trails the Republican 49 – 44 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 54 – 39 percent Corbett lead in a September 21 likely voter survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today’s results, Corbett leads 86 – 7 percent among Republicans and 58 – 32 percent among independent voters, while Onorato is ahead 87 – 9 percent among Democrats. Only 6 percent of likely voters remain undecided. Sixteen percent of Onorato voters and 14 percent of Corbett backers say they might change their mind before Election Day.

To remind everyone, Democrats hold a massive registration advantage in Pennsylvania.  Democrats account for 50.9% of all registered voters in Pennsylvania, while Republicans only come to 36.9%, a gap of 14 points.  If Democrats get engaged in Pennsylvania, Republicans have to turn out in massive numbers and hope that independents do the same in order to beat them.

Like the Toomey/Sestak race, the Republican candidate does score high with independents in this race, actually besting Toomey’s 21-point lead with a 26-point advantage.  Corbett also is in good position due to the low number of undecideds and the slightly better confidence level in his voters than in Onorato’s.  Barack Obama’s negative job approval (in yesterday’s Q-poll of PA voters) also helps.

However, as these late developments show, nothing will take the place of GOTV efforts in the Keystone State.  If Republicans are to win either of these statewide races, they will have to have superior organizational efforts on the ground.  And there is good news in that regard for both Toomey and Corbett:

Pennsylvania voters have requested nearly 127,000 absentee ballots so far. Of that total, Republican voters made up 50 percent and Democrats made up 42 percent, according to figures collected Tuesday afternoon.

The state records show Republicans are returning their absentee ballots in greater numbers as well. The state has received about 40 percent of requested ballots, and Republican registrations outpace Democrats by 19 points, 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the state data. Absentee ballots made up 5 percent of total turnout in 2008.

There are few states that offer more competitive Congressional contests than Pennsylvania, a swing state where Democrats enjoy a 14-point voter registration advantage.

Not only is that a good indicator of the turnout model favoring Republicans a little more than perhaps the pollsters expected, but also of a robust organization in  place for GOTV efforts.


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However, as these late developments show, nothing will take the place of GOTV efforts in the Keystone State.

That should be the mindset of people everywhere. If you don’t vote, then you have no one to blame but yourself if a crappy candidate manages to steal the election(not literally, one would hope) by a handful of votes.

Doughboy on October 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

In the Pennsylvania governor’s race, Democrat Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County Executive, has erased most of State Attorney General Tom Corbett’s 15-point likely voter lead and now trails the Republican 49 – 44 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

I saw part of the PA debate on C-SPAN, Onorato came off as a fiscal hawk with an aggressive plan to shrink PA government. Corbett had a more detailed plan for trimming PA’s government, but he didn’t communicate it well.

Of course, Onorato is lying, but he’s playing the game well.

mankai on October 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

We take our good candidates for granted, while we spend months wasting ten of millions of dollars and infinite amounts of energy on candidates who have a hard time stringing three coherent sentences together.

All hands on deck for Toomey.

swamp_yankee on October 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM

I contend that the same illegal aliens who are being deployed as canvassers in Washington state are also showing up as “likely voters” in polls such as this, and as such are skewing the results to make it seem like even the most unattractive, non-viable Democrat candidate is ahead.

FlameWarrior on October 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Pennsylvania Democrats awakening?

No, the Tea Party message has been muted and the GOP doesn’t have one.

Speakup on October 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Note to Toomey supporters in PA: If you don’t turn out in November, I will forever haunt your dreams.

amerpundit on October 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I’m beginning to wonder if some of these huge leads in some of these races ever really existed?It looks so much better for the Dems. if they to “appear” to have closed the gap and are gaining.Just a thought.

sandee on October 22, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Pennsylvania is corrupt as hel*, is what it is. If it can be stolen, they’ll steal it.

DaydreamBeliever on October 22, 2010 at 12:00 PM

I am working as a volunteer with the Fiorina/Whitman/Van Tran campaigns out here in California and we face similar obstacles and are relying on our “ground game as well”.

We have been told that our opposition is relying on the support of the unions mostly. No less than Willie Brown has confided that Boxer, Brown, et al, have no ground game other than that.

(Links offered later.)

It is one thing to be polled for your opinion — it is another thing to show up to vote.

The War Planner on October 22, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Song: Twelve Days ‘Til Voting (Christmas in November)

http://www.theospark.net/2010/10/song-twelve-days-til-voting-christmas.html

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Corbett’s been coasting a little in these last weeks. I hope to see him a little more “out there” in these last days.

I’m going to a big GOTV rally tomorrow. Seems like the GOP in my area really has its act together, though the Dems are paying canvassers and recruiting activists from New York to come down and get their voters out. They did this in 2006 and 2008 too.

rockmom on October 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Doughboy on October 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Yup, and I’m heading to vote tomorrow morning!!! :D

Which will make it harder for me, because the actual election is just under 2 weeks away. That’s a long wait, and I don’t think I can afford that many rolaids for between now, and then. OMG what am I going to do? This waiting will be he!!. I don’t think I can take this much longer. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!

LOL Whine, and rant over. Thanks for listening. :D LOL

Lookin forward to voting!!!!!!

capejasmine on October 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Have Ye Faith!
=================

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

We’ll win this year and long term PA is going GOP. PA’s too socially conservative and it’s turning western PA, which used to be dem, toward the GOP. The philly burbs have lost all “hope and change” and it’ll be a prime pickup in 2012. Don’t give up hope just because of a few polls.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on October 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

We also need poll watchers in Philly and Pittsburgh in every precinct. That’s where this election will be stolen.

either orr on October 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Eh, the early voting is heavily favoring Republicans. I know I know, intensity. I remember following early votes in 2008 and constantly telling myself that.

Of course, Onorato is lying, but he’s playing the game well.

mankai on October 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Knowing nothing else about the race, just with that I’d know you were talking about the democrat.

jarodea on October 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

My alarm is set for 4:45 am, Tuesday, November 2. I intend to be the first one at my nearby polling place by the time polls open here in Ohio.

BuckeyeSam on October 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Online Radio,Rush Limbaugh Show,then Hannity!
======================================================

http://radiotime.com/WebTuner.aspx?StationId=30538&ProgramId=20617&

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM

My alarm is set for 4:45 am, Tuesday, November 2. I intend to be the first one at my nearby polling place by the time polls open here in Ohio.

BuckeyeSam on October 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

BuckeyeSam: Early to rise and Voting wise!!:)

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Not only is that a good indicator of the turnout model favoring Republicans a little more than perhaps the pollsters expected, but also of a robust organization in place for GOTV efforts.

I don’t really get how the rate of request and return of absentee ballots has much to do with the quality of Republican GOTV efforts, but I do think it is a good indicator of turnout.

Personally I think most people who are voting GOP decided how they were going to vote long ago; GOTV efforts can now only help Democrats. That said, the Dems may be beyond help. It is all about turnout. Many pollsters are still using 2006 and 2008 turnout models, which is a mistake, and is partly the cause of what seems to be “tightening” in some of these races. See Sean Trende’s analysis at RCP:

Sean Trende: Who’s going to vote this year?

Gallup has likely voters favoring Republicans at twice the rate they did in November 1994. With a low turnout model, it is more than twice the 1994 number. Bottom line is there are too many Dems in most pollsters’ turnout models.

Missy on October 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

I from PA and a bit worried about it. It all depends on Philly turnout. If it is big – both could go for dems.
(Pittsburgh will split on both races and the rest of state will go for GOP.

gamurgis on October 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Reverse Operation Chaos getting suggested by Rush right now.

headsup

ted c on October 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Northern Delaware is part of the Philadelphia media market. Could this be the Christine O’Donnell effect? Probably not, but it’s a possibility.

YYZ on October 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

The Boston Globe poll showed Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley leading Republican State Senator Scott Brown by 15 points just before the election.

Enough said.

TheBigOldDog on October 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Note to Toomey supporters in PA: If you don’t turn out in November, I will forever haunt your dreams.

amerpundit on October 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I’ll be there, Slurpee in hand.

CurtZHP on October 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Attention Pennsylvanians!

Fear not when you go to vote. The New Black Panthers WILL NOT have clubs this year! (they’ll have tasers)

olesparkie on October 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

any democrat who believes that HRC would make a better president than the 0ne in beating a Repub in 2012, or if they believe she got cheated (ie Hillbuzz) in 2008—if these guys believe as a Democrat that HRC got screwed—and if Obama will be responsible for the loss of house /senate seats—the Dem party is being destroyed and the repubs don’t even have a nominee—

Rush is saying these types could help the Dems rebound ….HRC DEMOCRATS TO STAY HOME—no free rides, speak truth to power with silence and sedentary nature on voting day, leave obama on an island. The Island of Democrat Disillusion…!

HA

ted c on October 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

In PA, the Dems have mobilized the unions and pushed the false message that the Republicans will eliminate Social Security. The Republicans had better develop a strong and factual message to counter this election propaganda.

As an Allegheny County Commissioner (Pittsburgh environs), Dan Onorato raised taxes. Why any senior citizens would swallow his horse manure is beyond me. They must be lifelong Democrats reflexively pulling the lever for the party that has put the nation into a ditch.

onlineanalyst on October 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

even the most unattractive, non-viable Democrat candidate is ahead.

FlameWarrior on October 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Don’t talk about Leeisia Mancurski like that! LOL

Key West Reader on October 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

gamurgis on October 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I agree, I live near philly and it’s nothing but a liberal cespool, If philly has a big turnout it could get ugly.

SHARPTOOTH on October 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I’m mostly just relying on memory, but it always seems that Pennsylvania closes hard in favor of the Dem’s late often. I can think of several years where the it was very much in play for Presidential races, and the end result was not in line with the polling averages.

I still think we’re in ok shape, but we’re going to have to work the GOTV hard to hold it.

stldave on October 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I’ll be there, Slurpee in hand.

CurtZHP on October 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Sigh. You didn’t get the memo? We’re now drinking Latte’s, not slurpees. So sayeth ElBow-Wow.

Key West Reader on October 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I from PA and a bit worried about it. It all depends on Philly turnout. If it is big – both could go for dems.
(Pittsburgh will split on both races and the rest of state will go for GOP.

gamurgis on October 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

What if the turnout of GOP voters (some of whom will be registered Dems this year) is much higher than usual in Pitt and the rst of the state? Could that offset Philly?

Missy on October 22, 2010 at 12:20 PM

If the Phillies play a game on the 1st or 2nd. Its in the bag.

All the knuckle dragging, South Philly neanderthals will be too busy drooling on themselves, assaulting their opponents and recovering from their hangovers to care.

swamp_yankee on October 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM

This is a hoot,seen it,off of Ace’s site!!
===================================================

Call Me Madam Joe

http://vimeo.com/16072732

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:24 PM

In PA, the Dems have mobilized the unions and pushed the false message that the Republicans will eliminate Social Security. The Republicans had better develop a strong and factual message to counter this election propaganda.

***

onlineanalyst on October 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

I just love the Democratic meme that promotes the notion that Social Security be the only source of retirement income. Except for a few, it was never intended to be more than a retirement income supplement. What I wouldn’t give to have my contributions over the years directed to a self-directed IRA.

BuckeyeSam on October 22, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Rush has a caller now talking about Toomey/Sestak!

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM

I had to early vote yesterday in NW Harris county, TX. There were a lot of people there. I’ve never early voted before, so I can’t compare. It was asked of a poll worker if it’s been like this since Monday, and she said, “It’s been big every hour of every day.” If the enthusiasm gap is real, I’m hoping that the turnout so far will favor us.

Weight of Glory on October 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM

As Rush is mentioning about early voting,I heard a couple
days ago,on AM Talk Radio,Top of The News hour,that there
was a heavy Democrat turnout at the polls,

PURE BULLSH*T,its a ReDiRection Perception/Deception,
say it long enough,and they’ll believe it Operation!
=========================================================

Toto – Hold The Line

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71IFbyQ7D-o

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Benjamin Franklin- “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

Having been born and raised in Pennsylvania, I can tell you that the only part of that saying that is of interest to the majority of Pennsylvanians is the notion that they can vote themselves money. This is how a POS like Murtha could stay in office so long.

justltl on October 22, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Dems are the majority in Pittsburgh but these are Reagan Dems. I can see them go for GOP (esp for governor) Onoroto is the county executive and created a mess with property taxes. Corbett is also from the area and is respected. The other thing we have going is a great dislike of Rendall in this area.

On senate, I can see it going more party line. Both are from eastern PA. Toomey did not have a great debate so that is more up in the air.

gamurgis on October 22, 2010 at 12:40 PM

We should just assume that if the GOP wins ANYTHING this election it’s a miracle (Media, polling samples against you, etc.).

Sure I’d like to see a 200 Seat Conservative pickup but….at this point we need to keep expectations reasonable.

We need to send these emails/videos around, post on FBook, ets. Keep up the pressure to Independent friends.…..and let the chips fall where they may on 11/2.

PappyD61 on October 22, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Pittsburgh, Philly & it’s burbs, Harrisburg, Centre County… weapons grade liberal stupid.

bloviator on October 22, 2010 at 12:48 PM

As Rush is mentioning about early voting,I heard a couple
days ago,on AM Talk Radio,Top of The News hour,that there
was a heavy Democrat turnout at the polls,

I don’t believe in a BIG DEM early vote turnout either. BIG GOP turnout yes……….we’ll see.

PappyD61 on October 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Pennsylvania is corrupt as hel*, is what it is. If it can be stolen, they’ll steal it.

DaydreamBeliever on October 22, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Hate to disagree with you, but when it comes to political corruption, no one does it better (or worse) than Illinois!

pilamaye on October 22, 2010 at 12:52 PM

My alarm is set for 4:45 am, Tuesday, November 2. I intend to be the first one at my nearby polling place by the time polls open here in Ohio.

BuckeyeSam on October 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Hmmm, 4:44 am punk.

jarodea on October 22, 2010 at 12:53 PM

In PA, the Dems have mobilized the unions and pushed the false message that the Republicans will eliminate Social Security. The Republicans had better develop a strong and factual message to counter this election propaganda.

I’ve heard ads for John Larson (D-CT1) claiming that “Congressional Republicans” plan to privatize Social Security, eliminate Medicare, and use 401(k) money for government spending. What Republicans have proposed that?

It’s a blatant lie, since Republicans say they want to continue to fund Medicare at current levels, and DEMOCRATS want to cut Medicare funding by $500 billion to pay for ObamaCare, and no Republican has EVER mentioned taking 401(k) money–it was Republicans who argued for the tax deductions for 401(k) contributions!

But are Republicans mounting factual rebuttals to these vicious and false attacks?

Steve Z on October 22, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I’ll point out that shortly before the ’06 elections, Santorum was citing polls that showed he had cut a huge deficit down to around 6 points against Casey. I believe he ended up getting trounced by 18 points. Polls in the VA governor’s race never showed Bob McDonnell with more than a 10-12 point lead (to my knowledge), and he ended up winning by 18. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be concerned about these polls. We definitely need to be concerned. But let this motivate us to remain focused on the task at hand, getting Toomey and Corbett elected.

GOP 2010!

ncconservative on October 22, 2010 at 1:07 PM

As Rush is mentioning about early voting,I heard a couple
days ago,on AM Talk Radio,Top of The News hour,that there
was a heavy Democrat turnout at the polls,
===========================================

I don’t believe in a BIG DEM early vote turnout either. BIG GOP turnout yes……….we’ll see.

PappyD61 on October 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM

PappyD61: Either do I Pappy,its a MSM Mis-Information
Operation Mission,the Left are not mobilzed
as they say,——————–:)

canopfor on October 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM

To me, Democrats have thrown the kitchen sink into this race. Onorato ads run 2 to 1 in place of Corbett ads.. and that is just a massive blanket of propaganda. The Onorato ads are the typical – scare the elderly – ad that Democrats around here are famous for. Corbett is gonna kill medicare and social security. Hes gonna wheel grandpa to the graveyard himself! Nevermind what Obamacare has, and will evitably do – to medicare. The elderly, bless them, appear to have such short memories.

tflst5 on October 22, 2010 at 1:30 PM

The state has received about 40 percent of requested ballots, and Republican registrations outpace Democrats by 19 points, 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the state data. Absentee ballots made up 5 percent of total turnout in 2008.

How do they know why has voted? Is voting no longer a secret affair? I guess card check has already come to PA huh.

angryed on October 22, 2010 at 1:31 PM

ncconservative on October 22, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Last polls of the VA race in 2009

SurveyUSA – McDonnnell +18
Times-Dispatch McDonnnell +12
Rasmussen Reports McDonnell +13
Daily Kos/R2000 McDonnell +10
Suffolk University McDonnell +14

You obviously have to ignore any DailyKos poll and the same for any PPP poll. So taking out the + 10, the average of polls in the last week was McDonnell winning by 14.3%. He ended up winning by 17.4%. Pretty accurate polling if you ask me.

angryed on October 22, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Pretty accurate polling if you ask me.

angryed on October 22, 2010 at 1:41 PM

It’s not terrible. But the SurveyUSA poll is the only one that was within 4. 4 points in a Senate race in a purple state is a huge spread.

Missy on October 22, 2010 at 1:52 PM

sorry, within 3. Same conclusion though. All but one poll underestimated McDonnell’s support by 3 points or more, some by as many as 5-7 points.

Missy on October 22, 2010 at 1:53 PM

gamurgis on October 22, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Thanks for your response. It makes sense that the Senate race will go more party line. The question is, how many of each party will turn out…

Missy on October 22, 2010 at 1:54 PM

We can’t afford to be overconfident, as all this favorable press could easily have a self-leveling effect.

paul1149 on October 22, 2010 at 2:44 PM

This is how a POS like Murtha could stay in office so long.

justltl on October 22, 2010

Murtha had some tightening polls leading up to his race last time out but he won by a whopping margin. That’s why I’m worried about the State of Pennsylvania right now.

JonPrichard on October 22, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Think of PA more like New Jersey. Remember Christie and Corzine? At the end the polls kept going back and forth as to who was leading and Christie pulled it out.

It’s not how big the win is — it’s whether or not there is a win.

Keep the faith in divine providence!

Greyledge Gal on October 22, 2010 at 3:08 PM

To followup on above comment, I went to Real Clear Politics on the Christie/Corzine race (third column for 3rd party candidate):

Final Results — – 48.8/44.5/5.8 Christie +4.3

RCP Average 10/27 – 11/1 — 42.6/41.6/10.4 Christie +1.0

Note that Christie pulled 6.2% more of the vote than what the average was. This is the kind of electorate we should be looking at right now, even in PA.

Greyledge Gal on October 22, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Note that Christie pulled 6.2% more of the vote than what the average was. This is the kind of electorate we should be looking at right now, even in PA.

Greyledge Gal on October 22, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Good work. I hope you’re right about the PA electorate.

Missy on October 22, 2010 at 3:22 PM

angryed on October 22, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Whoa! I totally missed those other polls! I thought I had followed that race pretty closely…guess not. Ok, time to start worrying! :)

ncconservative on October 22, 2010 at 9:34 PM