Articles and Analysis


PA: 40% Toomey, 31% Sestak (F&M 8/16-23)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Franklin and Marshall
8/16-23/10; 485 regsitered voters, 4.45 margin of error
377 likely voters, 5.4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(F&M release)


2010 Senate
Registered voters: 31% Toomey, 28% Sestak
Likely voters: 40% Toomey, 31% Sestak (chart)

2010 Governor
Registered voters: 29% Corbett, 28% Onorato
Likely voters: 38% Corbett, 27% Onorato (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable (among registered voters)
Joe Sestak: 23 / 25
Pat Toomey: 25 / 20
Tom Corbett: 27 / 15
Dan Onorato: 22 / 11


Field Marshal:

Looks like people are waking up to the nuttiness of Sestak.


Another 'unlikely' likely voter screen, and with a huge MOE. My saltshaker on this one drops out many grains of salt!


Mike E:

Damn! Nice.



This is the 3rd pollster to find Sestak eating dust. As a look at the chart of all polls shows, the trend is bad for Sestak, also. THe MOE of each single poll matters little when a group of polls generally agree.

Put a fork in Sestak.

My guess now is 50-60 swing in house to reps and 51 to 49 dem majority in Senate. If Obama falls below 40%, I will be certain of it. I think the dems are in for endless pain. It will continue after November when two of their least favorite dem Senators caucous with reps to gives reps control.

A divided government was good for us in the 80's and 90's. I think Obama is too full of himself to compromise and the reps REALLY think pretty much all of his "accomplishments" have been disasters. If those are true and the reps win big, they will try to de-fund Obamacare, government funding of housing, fed adm of student loans, etc.

If those happen, Obama may believe that his only chance would be instant citizenship for illegals, which even dems will not support. My guess is that he will do a Clinton vetoing of spending bills without adopting Clinton's moderate "triangulation." It worked for Clinton, but with the deficit it will not work for Obama.

We could be in for a wild and rough ride.
I may not reply to those who respond since classes have started and I cannot spend much time writing here until next summer. I apologize in advance.



I don't think Lieberman will caucus with the Republicans. Besides terrorism issues, he disagrees with Republicans on most everything.

Ben Nelson, on the other hand, will change. It is his only chance of holding his seat (and it isn't that good a chance). He will look a lot like Spector. He should change early in 2011, to appear less opportunistic, even if his flip doesn;t give the Republicans control.



Actually if DEMS have 50 or 51 seats I expect both Lieberman and Nelson to stay put. Here is why.

For one...Nelson was recently asked about this very thing and he emphatically stated he would be remaining a DEM and would run for re-election in 2012. Leiberman is a moderate liberal but a hawk on defense....he voted for healthcare reform, the Recovery Act, Financial Reform, support gay rights, proposed the climate change bill, etc. He would not be at home in the GOP Caucus.

The second reason is that both would hold much more power in the DEMS caucus. They would be the kingmakers when it comes down to what is actually put up for a vote and could get better Committee spots.

The last reason is pure politics. In Nebraska, Gov. Heiman is going to run for Senate in 2012. If Nelson switched he would basically get defeated in the GOP primary. He has supported almost all the DEM agenda and would not be able to get the needed GOP support. Lieberman's only hope for re-election is to continue to run as an Independent. As a GOPer he could lose their primary and would lose any DEM supporters he had in winning re-election in 2006.

In short, if DEMS have 50 - 51 seats after the election they will keep their majority.



Sestak was stupid enough to have NYC Mayor Bloomberg come to PA to endorse him while they stood side by side to declare their support for the ground zero mosque. Sestak will be lucky to break 40% now.

The democrats still don't understand that voters want not just "the party of no", they want "the party of hell no".

They also don't understand how the republicans could be wiping up the floor with the democrats and yet their favorables are lower than the democrats.

It's because the republicans are like a dentist right now. Not many people like dentists but they'll go to one in an instant to yank out a bad tooth - no matter how much they dislike them.


Von Wallenstein:

consistent with all the recent polling. i love how the liberals complain EVERY SINGLE POLL is an outlier or has some problem with its methodology. the simplest anwser is usually the best one...the trend is towards toomey and this race is in the bag



The trend is definitely toward Toomey. However, the number of respondents here is simply too low. That many people lived on my street when I was in semianry in Philadelphia.
As to Ben Nelson, my thought is that if he was going to pull the switch, he would have done it this year after Brown won election. If would have been of almost no consequence to the numbers in the Senate, and it would have given him three years to distance himself from the controversy it would have created. Not too mention, he wouldn't have been left hanging out to dry on healthcare.
The truth is also this...while at the moment he may not be overwhelmingly popular, Ben Nelson isn't an unlikable person, and has done well as a conservadem. He could get close enough that with top of the ticket help, he could squeak out a win in 2012. Remember, Obama carried the Omaha based district in the 2008 election to get one of the Electoral Votes.
What would be really interesting to see is if Nelson tacks far enough center-right in the next two years that he draws a primary challenger like Bill Halter for Blanche Lincoln.


Von Wallenstein:

and thank the Lord that rendell only has four months left in office



Ben Nelson won't change parties. He will lose the GOP primary if people like Murkowski are losing their primary. Do you think he is going to do the same thing Specter did?

this campaign hasn't even begun in my state yet. I have seen DSCC ads against Toomey. I don't see that much support for him in Lancaster county( very conservative area)



When Ben Nelson voted for the healthcare disaster he sealed his fate. He will not be reelected no matter what he does... short of being the deciding vote to repeal it (not too likely). Of course, the democrats will find a way to take care of him with our tax dollars anyway.



This poll determines that if Sestak's campaign can twist people's arms to get them to the polls; get higher than average minority, ethnic and under age 30 to turnout, and scare a few seniors about losing their medicare under Toomey, Sestak may still have a shot.

One thing I know is if Toomey wins or Fiorina wins, or God forbid if Angle wins, I may want to go to sleep and never wake up. I'm sure they will be defiant, ruthless, and would do the opposite of what Scott Brown or Olympia Snowe would do.

They would always put their party first and the people who don't support their polices last, like they don't count for anything.



Farleftandproud take a basic civics class. That is a side effect of our plurality based system of government, the fact our politicans act like it is to fault them for something the system allows them to do. Besides, you think Obama gives a rip what conservatives like me think. Guess not.

As for Sestak and his slipping it is becoming clear that has being the typical liberal is killing him, His record of supporting HC, the bailouts, Stimulus, Cap and Trade, etc. are starting to be noticed and not playing well in a conservative electorate. Moreover Sestak has not run a stellar campaign, highlighted by the fact he had a rich ass like Bloomberg show up and than stand with him as he pronounced support for the NYC Mosque.

As for election predictions all I will say is this. If the numbers are 51-49 after the election than Nelson will be leaned on to switch. However I believe he will not because whether he goes into a GOP primary or stays with the Democrats in 2012 his fate really hinges on whether the GOP governor runs or not. I suspect on defense issues Lieberman would side with the GOP but switch is unlikely. If Crist wins in FL, unlikely with the way the race is shaping up than all this talk is pointless as Crist is more likely than not to caucus with the Democrats.



Seg, have a great school year! Drop by often.

On Nelson, while his chances are grim either way, they're a little less grim as a Repub.

Even if he does not switch, he is gonna vote very conservative the rest of his term. Unless he decides to retire. Dude's a complete whore.

Sestak is toast. Called it a while ago. Bennet in CO and Fisher in OH are done too.



Farleftandproud take a basic civics class. That is a side effect of our plurality based system of government, the fact our politicans act like it is to fault them for something the system allows them to do. Besides, you think Obama gives a rip what conservatives like me think. Guess not.

The Bottom line is that in football terms, the Democrats are on their own 40 yardline and the GOP is on our 40 yard line, but when a team in in a hole, they regroup and fight like their careers are dependent on it.

If Health care reform is such a bad issue for the Democrats, it ultamately will not last. Even if the law about having to buy health care gets stopped by individual states, there will be new regulations on price controls, and Obama can still fight insurance companies who raise their premiums to unaffordable levels.

Mccain accused Obama of a Government takeover of health care and Obama won. If the voters could support that then they will appreciate it down the road.

Some thought Obama was born in Kenya or somewhere else in 2008, and he won the election.

Obama was 1/2 black in 2008 and won, and he still is, and will win again.

He promised to move out troops from Iraq and he has almost completed that task too.

Obama however, never promised the unemployment rate was going to improve drastically, yet may have been too optimisic about TARP, but again much of TARP hasn't been spent. There is more to a lagging economy than high unemployment, and Obama never promised the economy would improve. In fact, his fear that things were getting worse, were contradictory to Mccain's statement that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

Besides, I think that GOP governors will cut more jobs than Democratic ones because they love to cut the size of government and that usually means layoffs in the public sector. If a Republican wins in Michigan or CA, I predict things will probably get worse, and if the unemployment improves, the quality of life and availability of good jobs won't.

People will go from working for the DEPT of Michigan Conservation in a rural part of the state, and the budget will be cut and their jobs will be cut as well. They might be getting paid $17 an hour and suddenly will have to take a job at a Supermarket for $8.50. That has been a pattern in the country regardless of who is governor, but the GOP will not do much to create jobs in the public sector.


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