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Over the past few months, I've seen (and been a part) of diaries filled with comments supporting Chuck Pennacchio, and others that attack him. The same for Bob Casey. Each side yelling at each other - and many unproductive, nasty comments by both groups.

So, in an effort to gauge sentiment (without the threat of down ratings and/or troll ratings), I figured I'd put up this poll to see who Kossacks are supporting against Rick Santorum.  

I'm not commenting on their positions, because supporters from both sides have mischaracterized each respective candidates positions and if I put a brief "on the issues" section, there will surely be someone who will claim I put down stances based on my own bias (which I do have).

Below are pictures of the two candidates from their respective websites (so I'm not accused of culling better pictures of one over the other).

In any event, take the poll if you like and, if we get a good response, we'll have some idea where we stand.

Bob Casey
Bob Casey Jr.

Chuck Pennachio
Chuck Pennachio

Originally posted to GregNYC on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 03:48 PM PDT.


Which candidate running for US Senate (Pennsylvania) are you supporting against Rick Santorum?

60%798 votes
39%529 votes

| 1327 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Casey (none)
    Although I disagree with him on abortion, I am more intouch with Casey then with Pennachio.  Casey has a strong record as standing up for tax payers, and for sticking up for the litte guy.  I would be proud to see him in the US Senate.
  •  Background, please. (none)
    I'm only an infrequent lurker and don't know anything about either of them.


    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

    by verasoie on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 03:54:38 PM PDT

    •  I'll try to do this nonpartisan (4.00)
      Bob Casey is a candidate with an incredibly high name recognition, high approval rating, and a 15 point lead on Santorum right now.

      He's also not the perfect progressive candidate. He's great on labor/economic issues, but he's pro-life, and isn't a huge fan of stem cells I believe. He also has a reputation as less than a dynamic campaigner.

      Chuck Pennacchio has great progressive credentials. He takes the right progessive stand on virtually every issue, and he's pro-choice, unlike the pro-life Casey.

      He's also never held office, isn't in nearly as good of shape in the polls as Casey, and his fundraising isn't in great shape to say the least.

      It's kind of a classic "ideology" v. "electability" competition.

      Ann Arbor is a city, not my name

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 03:59:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Boy, I'm again scared to death to (none)
    wade in here, but I still think that Casey is the best bet, and that our number one goal should be to get the majority so that no anti-choice legislation has a chance to come to the table.  That includes no chance that an anti-choice Supreme Court Justice or a Republican Taliban member in disguise gets on the Supreme Court.

    However, I also understand the passions running high and the difficult time of those who just can't pull the lever for someone with his beliefs.

  •  I live in CA (none)
    I'll let the PA Democrats hash it out. My hope is that it won't be bloody and that whoever loses will come out in full support of the nom, both the candidate and his supporters.
  •  I met Pennachio (4.00)
    at an organizing event and I was impressed by him, though with all the usual worries about electability. I agree with him that the anointing of Casey by party muckety-mucks instead of running a supposed primary process is not the way the democratic process should operate. He's still getting grief from the Democratic powers that be as I think he diaried himself earlier today ("Why are you running against Bobby?").

    The answer to that question is: because this is a democracy. It's not a crime to oppose a candidate. I think a primary battle would be good for us.

    And frankly, if Pennachio can actually deliver, can reach the red parts of the state as he believes he can, then I'd prefer to see him as a candidate.

  •  Pennachio in the primary.... (none)
    ....and Casey in the general. Pennachio is unlikely to best Casey in the primary, but if he does, it would indicate that he is a candidate to be reckoned with. Casey likely will win the primary, but if I were a Pennsylvanian, I would not vote for him because I believe primary elections are for supporting the candidate who best matches what you want in a candidate. But I tend to be more pragmatic in the general, unless of course the Democrat is almost totally indistinguishable from the Republican, or to the Republican's right. In those cases, I'll vote Green. But in this case, Casey would get my support in the general election, even though I strongly disagree with him on choice issues.
  •  Casey (none)
    I actually started pushing for Casey the day after the election when I saw his returns, and I was pretty much in stunned when Schumer and Rendell convinced him to run for the Senate.  He's going to be someone that should do a good job of reclaiming some of those Democrats who have voted for Santorum over the past 3 cycles.
    •  The Main Effects of Nominating Casey (none)
      1. Dramatically lower Democratic  turnout:  A right-winger like Casey won't give moderates and liberals much to vote for.  Being the lesser of two evils doesn't create much interest or loyalty for a candidate.

      2. An easy victory for Santorum: By discouraging Democrats from voting, contributing, and volunteering for the party in 2006, a Casey nomination would let Santorum cost to victory.  If the Democrats are stupid enough to nominate Casey, a marginal GOP seat will be converted into a cake-walk.

      Take Back the Democratic Party

      by fedupnyc on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 04:53:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm for Casey (none)
    However, the most important thing is that no candidate is driven off by the DNC bigwigs.  Let the best Democrat win the primary, and then beat Santorum.  If Casey has to moderate his social views to beat Pennacchio in a primary, then only good can come of that.
  •  Since I'm not from PA ... (none)
    I just want the candidate who can defeat Santorum. If both can do so with no problem, then I want the candidate who most has the cajones to vote progressively and to play the strategic kind of politics that is necessary for a party out of power.

    I have been getting the feeling that if defeating Santorum is the major obstacle, then Casey is the guy. But if the Dem's a shoo-in, then it's a big toss up: they each have their pluses and minuses.

    But why would anyone care about an out-of-stater's opinion?

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 06:42:58 PM PDT

  •  You Know (none)
    PA you all are nuts if you don't nominate Bob Casey.  The guy is out only hope to beat little Ricky.

    Remember, in the modern Congress it's control of the chamber that matters, not the individual senator.  We can take out an airheaded conservative jerk with someone with a great trackrecord on labor, the social saftey net, someone who's making Santorum distance himself from George Bush.

    I will be quite angry with you, PA, if you don't nominate Bob Casey.  Don't do the 2000 thing all over again.

    •  Then you don't know much about PA (none)
      ... do you.

      Like the fact stated up thread that Casey's numbers are slowly buy surely falling just as they did against Rendell who subsequently wiped the floor with him for Gov.

      Rendell beat Casey and Fischer in the general because moderate pro-choice Republicans in the Philly suburbs voted for him in droves. Rendell got 80% and better of the vote on the Lower Main Line outside Philly where I live.

      The 800 pound political question is whether Casey can draw sufficient numbers of conservative Democrats to outweigh the loss of moderate Republicans to beat Santorum. If he can he wins, if he can't he loses.

      The problem is that Schumer, Rendell & Reid decided that they know better than PA Democratic voters and pushed Barbara Hafer and Joe Hoeffel - both of whom have good name recognition, Hafer as former state office holder & Hoeffel after last year's run against Specter - out of the race.

      Casey will be very hard to beat in the primary as he's got near 100% of the Party machinary behind him, but he's far, far from a lock to beat Santorum.

      As for 2000, the candidate that year was pretty much a carbon copy of Casey on the issues, though no where near the name recognition. Needless to say he got his ass kicked as progressive GOPers ignored him and Conservative Democrats were not motivated to vote for him given little apparent difference from Santorum.

      The Party poohbahs have rolled the dice for us. They think they rolled 7s, but they may well have rolled snake eyes.

      Democracy is a contact sport...

      by jsmagid on Fri Aug 26, 2005 at 05:45:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Casey hasLoser Record. Pennacchio, Next Wellstone? (4.00)
    Casey had a big lead, bigger than the one he now has over Santorum, over Ed Rendell, when he was running in the democratic primary for governor. And he lost. He choked. The guy has as much charisma as a tree. But don't trust me. Look at how his handlers have been hiding him. If he was a strong, dynamic, charismatic candidate, they'd be showing him off.

    The democratic party has picked losers for over 40 years. Harris Wofford, a progressive, ran in an off-year election and he won. DLC centrists don't cut it. If you can win PA and Pittsburgh and their suburbs strong, like Rendell and Kerry did, then you can win the state regardless of the "Alabama in the middle" that James Carville described.

    Enough about Casey. If he wins, women and progressives will be screwed. If Pennacchio wins, he will be a leader in the senate, like we hoped Barrack O'Bama would be. Pennacchio has the potential to be the next Paul Wellstone.

  •  Pennacchio - And I'm Not Conflicted in the Least (none)
    I wrote a very impassioned post about this topic at All Spin Zone a few months back.

    I'm tired of compromising my principles for GOP-lite.

    All Spin Zone : Nailing the Lying Bastards Since 2004

    by Richard Cranium on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 07:42:36 PM PDT

  •  CASEY (4.00)
    Why should we support a pro-life candidate whose biggest asset is name recognition over a true progressive? Because Bob Casey is electable! He can win! How do we know that? Because the same PA Democratic Leadership that has racked up 14 consecutive full-term election defeats over the last fourteen years tells us so! It's 2004 all over again, with Pennachio and Casey in place of Dean and Kerry. Since that turned out so well, I think we should stick to the same strategy. After all, we wouldn't want to break the streak!
  •  Why Casey Can't Beat Santorum: (4.00)
    1. Casey is a lousy campaigner. Casey had a near 20 point lead against Ed Rendell early on and then lost by about 10 -- he managed to go down nearly 30 points over the course of the race! This is the "mirage" factor in the current polls pitting Casey against Santorum.. Santorum IS a strong campaigner and a strong debater and he can trounce Casey in any kind of one-on-one interview/debate.
    A Millersville University poll; conducted 10/25-28/01; surveyed 504 registered voters margin of error +/- 4.3%. (Hotline)

    Democratic primary matchup--Likely Voters:
    Casey: 44%
    Rendell: 27%
    Undecided: 30%

    Final Results:
    Rendell: 56%
    Casey: 44%

    2. Rendell had help from pro choice REPUBLICAN women. They contributed to his campaign. Thousands of them even registered as Democrats to help him in the primary:

    Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Ed Rendell has unveiled a revolutionary strategy for winning elections - converting registered Republicans to Democrats. "It started out as a grassroots thing," said campaign spokesman Dan Fee. "People kept saying, 'I want to vote for [Rendell].' Once we saw the enthusiasm was there, we decided to help it along." The campaign sent over 100,000 letters to Republicans encouraging them to switch parties. Over 5,500 have already switched in two counties alone. Many of these are pro-choice suburban women who want to support Rendell, the only pro-choice candidate in the race.

    1. It took Casey four months after he put up his website to finally have an issues page on it because he knows that the majority of Pennsylvanians are pro choice and are pro embryo stem cell research. Of course those issues are NOT mentioned on his new issues page. He has said that he would have voted for authorization of force in Iraq, yet iraq is not on that page either. He can't run as a stealth candidate forever.

    2. Republicans will always be able to outspend Democrats and Casey will not get the kind of money that a strong pro choice Democrat would get in this race -- especially money from contributors outside the state who would give cash to prgressive/pro choice PACs.

    3. I have heard much rumblings that the Democratic Powers That Be are trying to get Casey to "soften" his position on abortion. They finally realized that maybe they screwed up by shoving an anti choice candidate down our throats.

    4. By running Santorum Lite, you are giving Santorum voters no reason to switch over their vote. Despite any of the batshit crazy stuff Santorum is saying now he will, as always, start running towards the middle the closer it gets to the election. He's already backed down on teaching Intelligent Design in schools. Santorum will run as a family friendly populist and Casey will run as a void.

    If the Democratic party had some cojones -- if they wanted to demonstrate that they stand for SOMETHING -- then Chuck Schumer, Ed Rendell, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the boys would have gotten behind someone who could present the voters with a real alternative to Rick Santorum. Someone like Chuck Pennacchio.

    They could have embraced the differences between Democrats and Republicans instead of fleeing from them. They could have learned something from the 2004 election and realized that the way to win is to have a strong candidate with strong positions who offers the voters a real CHOICE (pun intended).

    (This was originally posted at my blog, 2 political junkies,  on 8/12/05 --some edits have been made)

  •  I'm surprised anyone's still talking about (none)
    Pennacchio. A PA candidate who raises in the five-figure range isn't to be taken seriously.
    •  You think like republicans-- all money (none)
      It's not the money that makes the candidate. It is to be expected that the candidates with the pacs and the DLC and RNC (not much difference) behind them will get a lot of money up front.

      It is to be expected that a grass roots candidate will build slowly, with much less money at first.


      PS a vote for Casey is a vote against progressive values.

      •  Pennacchio isn't a grassroots candidate. (none)
        He's been running for nine months and I've yet to meet a single rank-and-file Democrat in Western PA who even knows his name.

        He's a gadfly with delusions of grandeur and a lot of naivete. Every serious candidate, whether he's conservative, centrist, liberal, progressive, DLC, indepedendent, whatever, needs hundreds of thousands of dollars to compete, especially in states in PA which have large, expensive media markets.

        For all the adulation and cheers he's received from dKos and elsewhere in the blogosphere, Pennacchio raised less than a hundred thousand dollars during the second quarter of 2005. This demonstrates what neither he nor his small band of dwindling supporters is willing to admit: No one, not even the progressive community at large, is taking him seriously.

    •  You know, to take that a bit further.... (none)
      By making money the qualifying factor, as you so elegantly did here, if one's positions run counter to large donor interests, then one is not a viable candidate.

      I happen to believe that your very statement is what is wrong with the Democratic party. You have lost progressives, driven them out, because you cannot stand on your own 2 feet; you must have those big dollars.

      Ever wonder why the candidate that spends the most money always wins these days? Because he is facing another candidate that is trying to do the same. You advocate a NASCAR race for elected office - he whose sponsors have the most clout, wins. It is stupid,, and un-American.

      The Democratic party will never win playing this game. Their sponsors are not as powerful as Republican Sponsors, and all sponsors hedge their bets. The DLC and the politics of your statement are what is wrong with the Democratic party, and until we address those issues and deal with them we will be perennial losers.

      W Stands for War!

      by k9disc on Sat Aug 27, 2005 at 12:29:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course Chuck raised less $, he has principles (none)
      Pennacchio refuses to take contributions from PACs.  So yeah, he has only raised a fraction of what Casey did so far.  But if Pennacchio does win the primary, he will get contributions from progressives accross the country.  Democrats know how important it is to beat Santorum; whoever the candidate is,  they'll chip in.  And if Chuck wins, he'll receive ridiculous amounts of media attention,  for winning a primary without big bucks, party leader endorsements, and scant media coverage.  

        If Chuck didn't refuse PAC money, he would probably have received some big money from various pro-choice PACs that will not support Casey.  But Chuck Pennacchio has principles.  He will represent the people's interests, and no one elses because he isn't depending on corporate dollars.  Casey will vote for corporate and special interests, when his donors will be affected.  

      By the way, "choice" is hardly the only thing separating Casey and Pennacchio.    Chuck is opposed to the Iraq war, Casey wants to stay the course.  Chuck wants citizen access to universal health care.  Chuck wants to require gun manufacturers to include safety locks.  ETc.

  •  I'll vote for Pennacchio all the way. (none)
    Casey will not get my vote no matter what!  And, in the end it is the number of votes that count not how much money you have in the bank.

    By the way, has anybody else noticed how many of the proCasey comments are from Desroko?

    It is the Quinipiac poll that has Casey going down in points and it will only be a matter of time until all of the polls do likewise.          

  •  Hiding and cross-dressing to victory (none)
    I've seen both of these candidates in action, speaking live to PA voters and responding to spontaneous events.  Gentle readers, Mr. Casey is an uninspiring dud.  It's one of the big reasons his campaign team's main strategy right now is to hide their candidate.  My guess is that the Casey campaign will keep the candidate under wraps until two weeks before the primary, when they'll stage a few media events in the hope of coasting to victory on name recognition reinforced with a brace of neutral-sounding commercials.

    It's quite disheartening to think that my Democratic party thinks hiding a candidate until it's too late to debate his conservatism constitutes a viable primary process.  That virtually every state party official has lined up behind a candidate who so clearly represents the failed Republican-lite thinking that has brought us successive electoral failures is more dispiriting still.

    One bright light in this morass is Chuck, and it's why I volunteer on his campaign.  I urge anyone who questions whether such a candidate has a snowball's chance to catch Chuck in person at one of his events.  To hear him speak is to be reminded that there was a time when being a Democrat involved vibrant commitments to social justice and a progressive vision of our country, not just outflanking the latest right wing nutball.  The point: a Democratic candidate dressed up like a right wing nutball isn't going to win this election.      

  •  Pennacchio Group (none)
    If anyone here is interesed in helping out Chuck Pennacchio's campaign, or would like to learn more about him, check out this Yahoo Group for his supporters:

    Your pal,

  •  This is Funny! (none)
    I just got an email from the Casey campaign and the information below was included in it.  It kind of reminds me of the MoveOn.Org Poll that was done by people connected to the Casey campaign and was biased against Chuck Pennacchio.  I don't think they have any room to complain.  I think it's even worse that the MoveOn.Org poll was biased against one of its own.  


    The right-wing Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently published a guest column by Salena Zito criticizing Bob Casey. There's one big problem. The Trib failed to clearly identify Zito. Zito worked for Santorum's campaign and is a former Allegheny County Republican committeewoman (and not exactly as bi-partisan as she claimed). Oops!


    Jay Reiff
    Campaign Manager

  •  Support Chuck (none)
    For those so inclined, you can retrieve the code to promote Chuck's latest fundraising effort here:

  •  Why I Prefer Pennachio (none)
    The following things about Pennachio are the reasons why I think he is better for the Senate and the Democratic Party.

    • He supports lgbt rights.
    • He supports the inalienable right of women to choose on abortion.
    • He has been doing grassroots organizing throughout his adult life.  The Democratic Party desperately needs elected officials who understand the grassroots and who will encourage active participation in the party.
    • He supports embryonic stem cell research.
    • He supports an exit strategy for Iraq.
    • He is a dynamic speaker, unlike most Democratic politicians.  I was highly impressed by his short speech at the end of last Wednesday's Stonewall Democratic club here in NYC.
    • He opposed the nomination of John Roberts.
    • He supports living wage legislation.
    • He champions state/church separation.

    To be honest, if Casey wins the nomination, I will pretty much ignore a race between Santorum and Santorum-lite.  For me to support a Democrat, that Democrat needs to be a positive alternative to the Republican, not the lesser of two evils.

    Take Back the Democratic Party

    by fedupnyc on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 04:45:22 PM PDT

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