So much for the Democratic awakening in Pennsylvania. PPP, one of the pollsters that argued that Keystone State Democrats had re-engaged and could pull an upset, now says Pat Toomey has a five point lead over Joe Sestak, and Tom Corbett will beat Dan Onorato by seven on Tuesday. Democrats did re-engage, as it turns out, but not for Democratic candidates:
Pennsylvania flirted a little bit with Democrats in the final weeks of this year’s election, making them think they might be able to pull off an upset in the Senate and/or Gubernatorial contests that had looked good as gone for most of the year. It looks like the GOP will in the end sweep those races though, if by smaller margins than they had shown in polling throughout much of 2010.
In the Senate race Pat Toomey leads Joe Sestak 51-46 and in the race for Governor Tom Corbett is up 52-45 on Dan Onorato. The story here is an inordinate number of Democrats unhappy with Barack Obama- and voting Republican because of it. The President’s approval rating within his own party is only 73% in Pennsylvania, with 21% of Democrats disapproving of him. Those Democrats unhappy with Obama are leaning strongly Republican, planning to vote for Toomey by a 68-23 margin and for Corbett by a 69-25 spread.
What that leads to overall is 15-19% of Democrats voting Republican in these two races. Meanwhile GOP voters are extremely unified, giving each of their nominees 88%. Independents are splitting pretty evenly so it is that party unity advantage that has the GOP candidates in a position to win here.
Pennsylvania independents are going to split evenly? Rasmussen shows independents breaking hard for Corbett in the gubernatorial race, 51/32 with leaners, in their poll released yesterday. In their last Senate poll, Toomey had a 16-point lead with independents. In the Marist poll from this weekend, Toomey had a seven point lead among likely voters, and a 51/40 lead among independents.
I suspect that PPP may be understating the momentum for both Toomey and Sestak a little. If so, then Democratic House incumbents like Kathy Dahlkemper may have even bigger problems than thought before now, especially if PPP really sees Democrats breaking towards the GOP. After all, the same issues are in play for the House as they are in the Senate race. Keep an eye on Pennsylvania’s House races tomorrow night.
Apparently, dog poop isn’t the potent political argument that Joe Sestak believed. The other varieties of crap haven’t done much for other Democrats, either.