Uploaded with ImageShack.us
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.