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So recent polls have showed that incumbent Senator Bob Casey Jr.s (D) huge lead over Tea Party Tom Smith (R) has been shrinking.  Here are the latest polls:

Muhlenberg Poll: Casey (D) 44, Smith (R) 36

Quinnipiac: Casey (D) 49 (55), Smith (R) 43 (37)

Franklin & Marshall: Casey (D) 48 (LVs) 46 (RVs), Smith 38 (LVs) 34 (RVs)

Rasmussen: Casey (D) 49, Smith (R) 42

Susquehanna (R): Casey (D) 46, Smith (R) 41

He's not leading by double digits like he was months ago but his lead now ranges from 6 to 8 points and Real Clear Politics has moved this race into the Leans Democrat category:

But the Casey campaign has anticipated that the race would get tighter the closer we get to election day, especially since Smith, a wealthy coal baron, is funding his own campaign and outspending Casey with ads.  Smith also has the backing of FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express.  Casey does have the name recognition as the son of popular governor, Bob Casey Sr. and he gets cross over votes from Republicans and Independents.  He is backed and endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the the League Of Conservation and has been a huge opponent of unfair trade agreements.  Casey is also strongly against privatizing medicare and Social Secruity, unlike his Tea Party opponent.  Here's a great pro-Casey ad courtesy of the AFL-CIO:  

Now I know there are still several members of the Kos community who are still angry about Casey's vote for cloture on the Blunt Amendment and believe me, I have hounded him for that.  But he is a true blue fighter for the middle class and Pennsylvania has always had one pro-life Senator and one pro-choice Senator.  Right now Pennsylvania has two pro-life Senators and one of them is a union-busting, Wall Street crony and a foot soldier for Grover Norquist.  I of course am talking about Senator Pat Toomey (R).  Toomey, who Dick Armey once referred to as "the original Tea Party candidate" who unsuccessfully challenged then Republican Senator, Arlen Specter in 2004.  Smith has boasted himself as a Tea Party guy.  You can learn more about Tea Party Tom Smith here:

Smith strongly supports privatizing Social Security, dismantling medicare and giving away more tax breaks to the wealthy while raising taxes on the middle class.  Smith is also a coal baron so you know he will be the coal industry's best friend in the Senate.  Here's a great ad from the Casey campaign that highlights Smith extremism:

You may not like Casey or agree with Casey's views on a woman's right to choose but here's a reminder of what the alternative is:

Yes, this is the guy who compared having a child out of wedlock to rape.  Speaking of rape, Smith also doesn't believe in exceptions for abortion even in the cases of rape, incest or if a mother's life is in danger.  Just like Todd Akin, Rick Berg and Tommy Thompson, Smith is a crusader in the War On Women.  

David Nir pointed out that the trend in this race doesn't mean that Casey is losing support, Smith is just gaining his party's support.  Casey still has the large majority of his party united behind him and gets both Independents and even a good chunk of Republican voters on his side.  As much as I would like to see Casey win by as large of a margin as he did against Rick Santorum in 2006, I don't anticipate that happening and neither does Casey's campaign.  Santorum had become so polarizing that even his own party couldn't help him and Casey is very well liked in Pennsylvania.  He was a terrific Treasurer and State Auditor who helped save Pennsylvania tax payers millions of dollars.  You can also learn more about Casey's work in the U.S. Senate from his website:

Lets not forget that Casey was one of the few Pennsylvania delegates who endorsed Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary along with former congressman Patrick Murphy while other high-profile Democrats like Joe Sestak and Ed Rendell endorsed Hilary Clinton.  

We've seen corporate and Blue Dog Democrats like Jason Altimire and Tim Holden lose their primaries to more union-friendly and progressive challengers like Matt Cartwright and Mark Critz.  We also have amazing candidates like Manan Trivedi, Kathy Boockvar, George Badey and Gene Stilp running for congress in Pennsylvania and Democrats are going to win the Attorney General office with Kathleen Kane as our candidate.  It also looks like President Obama is going to win Pennsylvania again by a large margin.  We need to keep PA blue and make it bluer.  We'll have an excellent shot at taking out Tom Corbett in 2014 and I promise you that I will help a strong pro-choice candidate like Allyson Schwartz or Patrick Murphy defeat Pat Toomey in 2016.  If we want to keep the Senate blue, we need to help Casey win re-election.  Casey is a strong advocate for keeping and creating jobs in Pennsylvania and a great friend go organized labor and the middle class.  Lets keep him in the Senate and give Tea Party Tom Smith a run for his money:

Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM PT: The Philadelphia Inquirer noticed that the race is tightening and so has the Casey campaign:

Casey, in an interview last week, said Pennsylvania political history had taught him to expect the race would tighten.

He beat incumbent Republican Rick Santorum by more than 17 points, 58.7 to 41.3 percent, in 2006. But Senate races in the state are often in the "52 to 48 range," he said.

Casey's aides said the new polling data simply may show some Republican voters learning about Smith and declaring they'll vote for their nominee.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state, 4.2 million to 3.1 million.

"It's still pretty early and we've got a long way to go before Election Day," Casey said. "I have seen races in our state that have changed very quickly and you've got to be ready for change." - Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/30/12

Casey's campaign is pouring money on TV ads in both the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh TV markets to help generate high Democratic voter turnout:

Casey, with "limited resources," has been hoarding much of his campaign cash for the final weeks of the contest and has spent $1.5 million on TV to date, his campaign manager, Larry Smar, said.

Casey started running TV ads in Philadelphia only on Friday. Until then, Smar said, the candidate hadn't spent a nickel in the state's largest TV market. He now hopes to blunt any further Smith gains.

"Smith has been saying for a long time that this is going to be a $20 million race," Smar said. "He has made clear that he is going to keep dumping money into it."

Smar said Casey had been keeping up with Smith in the Pittsburgh TV market, where ad rates are less expensive. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/3012

I will have a new diary out tomorrow touching upon this article.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Tea Party Tom Smith" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, marina, pademocrat

    I love that ad. Use their own words against them.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:09:48 PM PDT

  •  fortunately PA voters can vote straight ticket eas (6+ / 0-)

    PA voters can easily vote the straight party ticket by punching one button or pulling one lever - and most PA voters tend to do that.  When the OFA and union GOTV operations and phone banks are hitting all cylinders on election day, most of them will be urging voters to vote for "Obama, Casey and the entire Democratic Party ticket".   I am confident that Casey will be reelected.  

    •  Hard to imagine an Obama-Smith voter. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So assuming Obama wins PA, it's going to be hard for Casey to lose.

      One Senate seat down, 59 to go.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:38:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Smith's commercials are on a lot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, shanesnana

    Haven't seen any of Casey's on TV yet.

    There's smart, and there's K-mart smart. Sarah Palin is K-mart smart.

    by InsultComicDog on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:46:51 PM PDT

  •  Casey might want to campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat, shanesnana, HeyMikey

    I haven't seen a sign or an ad for him yet.

    Anyone who ever knew fear and want knows Romney is talking about him..

    by docterry on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:13:16 PM PDT

  •  What type of democrat is Casey? (0+ / 0-)

    Just curious ...Is he the type who doesn't want to campaign with the President?

    Don't forget to register to vote here:

    by bepanda on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:23:05 PM PDT

    •  -shrug- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanesnana, HeyMikey, marina
      Lets not forget that Casey was one of the few Pennsylvania delegates who endorsed Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary along with former congressman Patrick Murphy while other high-profile Democrats like Joe Sestak and Ed Rendell endorsed Hilary Clinton.
      Now maybe that's changed, but that doesn't mean the President is unlikely to continue receiving private support from Casey. Claire McCaskill is often derided around here for her attempt to distance herself from Mr. Obama, but she threw her lot in with him to the ire of Mrs. Clinton during the 2008 primaries, too.
    •  He is a moderate-to-liberal Democrat (4+ / 0-)

      for the most part, and Catholic and anti-abortion like his dad, but milder in his anti-abortion stance as far as I can see. This is very important to me. But keep in mind that Pennsylvania has the second oldest population after Florida, and many are Catholic or Orthodox in faith. Serving all constituents....

      What I have noticed is that Casey tends to study a subject such as the huge Electrical Transmission lines that are coming up, gas drilling, clean energy, and many other environmental issues that affect Pennsylvania. He's pushed for federal involvement in fracking, if memory serves me correctly.

      He has a 96% rating and a 2012 endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters. I think he really cares.

      I think he's definitely worth keeping. He's been doing a fine job representing his constituents to the best of his ability. I think he's a man of compassion who cares about people.

      He's not his father, who I've been told could be cold and intimidating.

      I'm voting for him. He's one of the good guys.

  •  I'm not supporting this anti-choice "Democrat". (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, artisanrox, belzaboo

    If the Democratic party isn't happy about losing their seat, tough!

    They should have pulled the plug on Casey and run a candidate who believes that women are adults whose choices should be respected.

  •  I'll vote straight (D) (0+ / 0-)

    but the second a REAL woman-supporting, progressive (D) steps up and gets rid of this part time DINO, I'm voting for it.

    Casey would do better if he didn't align with the teabaggers half the time!

    •  As long as you vote for him... (0+ / 0-)

      ...why on earth would the party want to replace him?  Why risk losing wingnut votes just to placate pro-choicers who are already voting for him?

      •  I want the party (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bill W, marina, HeyMikey

        or even an independent candidate who actually cares about women's choices.  Voting for the blunt amendment was enough fail for me to be disgusted, but vote ONLY to keep the Tea Party seditionists out.

      •  furthermore... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Blunt was not ONLY about women.  it was a blanket statement to allow any employer to refuse coverage of ANYTHING they "didn't morally agree with".  That would mean people throwing out thousands of dollars for health care, only to be told that they were refused due to the employer disagreeing with the fact that they didn't eat enough salads.

      •  Your gripe is not really with Casey or Dem Party. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poopdogcomedy, marina

        There was a Dem primary this year. Not quite 700,000 Pennsylvanians voted in it. Results:

        Bob Casey, Jr.    565,488    80.9%
        Joseph Vodvarka    133,683    19.1%

        What's the population of Pennsylvania? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

        12.7 million.

        In other words, a smidgen over 1% of Pennsylvanians bothered to turn out to vote for Casey's opponent in the Dem primary.

        From what I understand, Vodvarka has no political experience. He owns a small manufacturing company, I believe. I have no idea how progressive he is generally, or what is stance is on abortion. But it really doesn't matter, because if he's less progressive than Casey, that means no more-progressive, more-qualified, more-experienced candidate bothered to run.

        So it seems to me your gripe, with all respect, BillW, is with your fellow least, with 99% of them. They didn't field a more progressive candidate, or if Vodvarka was that more-progressive candidate, they didn't vote for him.

        Politics is a team endeavor. If our team doesn't control both houses of Congress after this election, then even if Obama wins, there's damn little he's going to be able to do. So if you'd like to improve on the status quo even a little bit, suck it up and vote for the team.

        And when Casey's up for re-election in 2018, by all means--work on his more-progressive opponent's campaign. Or be his more-progressive opponent. I will be glad to applaud you, and might even contribute to you.

        (I can't vote for you because I live in Georgia. My Senators are GOPers Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Casey would be a major upgrade for me.)

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:58:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I said, I'm not from PA... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 my vote in this race is entirely theoretical.  I will say that most of the candidates I've voted for have been non-perfect in one way or another.  But there are a few minimum requirements I have, and one of them is that the candidate must be pro-choice.  I'm not a single-issue voter, though, for instance, I wouldn't vote for a segregationist even if he or she happened to be pro-choice.  
          And, as I said earlier, I'm assuming that the powers that be in the Democratic Party have decided that it's worth losing the votes of people like me in order to draw in the votes of people who want to criminalize women's health care.

          •  His environmental record is really good (0+ / 0-)

            And that weighs heavily as well for me. I've written several letters to Casey on the subject of women's rights to abortion and contraception. Also pleading with him not to vote with Pat Toomey, (R-Club for Growth).

            The gas drillers are right over the hill from me. Yesterday we drove through forests ripped up to be replaced by pipelines. We went to a very isolated area in Lycoming County where, when we turned off the motor, we could hear loud roaring from hydraulic fracturing. The noise was so loud, and it was at least a thousand feet away from us. I can't imagine that the wildlife stick around for that assault, even in that beautiful, uninhabited wild area.

  •  You had me until (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, HeyMikey
    Lets not forget that Casey was one of the few Pennsylvania delegates who endorsed Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary along with former congressman Patrick Murphy while other high-profile Democrats like Joe Sestak and Ed Rendell endorsed Hilary Clinton.  
    I'm happy with Obama, but I was a Hillary supporter and I don't see any reason to deride those who supported her during the primaries in 2008.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 05:00:15 PM PDT

  •  I've been worried (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about not seeing ads for Casey. Only us old folks remember his dad whom, although I am pro choice, respected because he remained true to his beliefs.

    Many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign. --Bill Moyers

    by shanesnana on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:20:32 PM PDT

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