By Carole on Apr 8, 2010
In the latest sign that the purple state of Pennsylvania is turning red, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Republican candidates leading in both the senatorial and gubernatorial races. Next month's special election to fill the late Congressman John Murtha's (D) seat is a toss up and President Obama's approval rate in the Keystone state is plummeting.
According to the poll, Republican Pat Toomey has a 46% to 41% lead over incumbent Senator (and infamous party switcher) Arlen Specter (D-Pennsylvania). Mr. Toomey also holds a 42% to 34% margin over Mr. Specter's challenger in the Democratic primary, Representative Joe Sestak (D-Pennsylvania). Toomey and Sestak will meet in a televised debate this weekend in which Senator Specter has refused to participate. (source)
In the race for the Governor's mansion, Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) is far ahead of each of the three top Democratic contenders. He leads Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato 45% to 33%, State Auditor General Jack Wagner 48% to 29% and former U.S. Senate nominee Joe Hoeffel 50% to 28%. (source)
The May 18 special election to fill Mr. Murtha's seat could go either way with Democrat and former Murtha aide Mark Critz battling Republican and home-grown conservative Tim Burns. The seat has been safely in Democrats' hands since 1973 but given the track record of the ethics-challenged Mr. Critz and his former boss plus the anti-incumbent, anti-Washington fever sweeping the state, Mr. Burns could pull of what would be considered a big political upset. (source)
Speaking of that anti-incumbent, anti-Washington fever; today’s Quinnipiac poll also shows President Obama's approval rating among Pennsylvanians is a negative 45/49 (45% approve, 49% disapprove). That's down from 49/46 just one month ago. No doubt his signing of the unpopular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has something to do with the drop.
In light of these numbers, it's unlikely that campaign appearances with the president will be much help for any of the Democratic candidates during this election season. In fact, there seems to be little that could help them hold back the wave of real change about to hit Pennsylvania.
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