By Carole on May 13, 2010
The mainstream media is crowing today about a new poll that shows US Representative Joe Sestak (D-Pennsylvania) has gained ground in a hypothetical Senate race against the presumptive Republican nominee Pat Toomey. That would be great news for Democrats were it not for two facts: Mr. Sestak isn't in the race yet and Mr. Toomey hasn't even started running.
While it's true that, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Mr. Toomey would win by only a slim 2 point margin (42% to 40%) over Mr. Sestak if the election were held today, the election will not be held today. (source) Before November 2, Mr. Sestak first must defeat incumbent Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pennsylvania) in next week's Democratic primary. That race is a virtual dead heat and both candidates have been flooding the Pennsylvania airwaves with advertising. Both local and national media have been giving much more attention to this race than most other primary races and certainly that attention could be translating into higher name recognition for Mr. Sestak.
Meanwhile, Mr. Toomey remains the overwhelming front runner for the Republican nomination and need only wait until the Democrats choose his opponent to begin taking advantage of the current voter dissatisfaction with all things Democrat to run up a lead against either Representative Sestak or Senator Specter.
That same Quinnipiac poll shows Republican State Attorney General Tom Corbett leading his most likely Democratic opponent for Pennsylvania Governor, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, 43% to 37%. President Barack Obama has only a 46% approval rating in the Keystone state (48% disapprove). And only 40% of Pennsylvanians approve of the job current Governor Ed Rendell (D) is doing (51% disapprove).
So it stands to reason that Mr. Toomey's lead over whomever the Democrats nominate next week will increase as his campaign gets rolling and this perennial swing state gets redder every day.
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