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PA: 48% Toomey, 42% Sestak (Rasmussen 8/30)

Topics: Pennsylvania , poll

Rasmussen
8/30/10; 750 likely voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

Pennsylvania

2010 Senate
48% Toomey (R), 42% Sestak (D) (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Pat Toomey: 56 / 34
Joe Sestak: 43 / 48

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 42 / 58 (chart)
Gov. Rendell: 39 / 60 (chart)

 

Comments
lat:

I don't get it? It seems that Ras is starting to show a tightening towards the dems as compared to other polls (this PA poll is just one example). As one who does not get into the nitty gritty of polling this seems strange. I thought that Ras was supposed to have a strong GOP lean?

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sjt22:

@ lat

Hard to give a definitive answer, but there's probably a few things at play.

1) Ras was always a LV model, so they won't have that shift like other polls will get by switching from RV to LV.

2) As the races go on, more people will actually know the candidates and learn a bit about them, which can cause a narrowing of the gap by cutting into the undecideds.

3) Could just be statistical chance moving the needle around a bit.

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tjampel:

I agree with Lat; there's been a very slight tightening of late in Ras' polls; either that or there's been some recent statistical noise appearing to look like tightening... but certainly no expansion of leads for Repubs except in MO (which looks like a lost cause).

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shabby:

Here's the discrepency I believe: The Ipsos poll lists the breakdown of votes by those identified as Independent as 40 something for Toomey and 5 for Sestak. Percentage wise, that means 85% plus of the independents are skewing towards Toomey. No way. It's obvious that the independent sample in the Ipsos poll were disaffected Republicans / Tea Party supporters and not true independents. I'd take the Ipsos poll with a very large grain of salt.

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Cederico:

This race is still winnable for DEMS for a couple of reasons.

First, Sestak has yet to start his ad campaign. The Toomey campaign and the GOP has been pounding him for weeks as "too liberal" on the airwaves so for him to be behind is not surprising. Sestak is busy raising and hoarding his cash for the homestretch when he will try to replicate his big comeback vs Specter in the primary. The DSCC has committed 4 million to the race and has started to hit Toomey in TV ads.

The second and main reason is PA has a huge Democratic party registration edge. DEMS have over 1 million more voters than the GOP...the problem right now is that they are unexcited. In order to win this race the DEM base in PA has to become fired up. If they come out in force Sestak wins by a few points in the end.

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Paleo:

Sestak will make his move late. As he did in '06 and in this year's primary.

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Field Marshal:

Cederico,

Those are big "IFs". Toomey has a huge money advantage already and the $4 mil from the DSCC only brings Sestak up to what Toomey had on hand at the end of last month before the NRSC gets involved.

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CHRIS MERKEY:

i have several friends in PA that voted for Obama but don't really care about any races right now. I am doing my best to get them to vote. My line of attack: He is far more right wing than even Santorum was. I think Sestak really needs to hit that home. Compare him to someone even more right wing than Santorum. Santorum lost by the biggest margin of any incumbent in the last 30 years.

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dpearl:

"Independent as 40 something for Toomey and 5 for Sestak. Percentage wise, that means 85% plus of the independents are skewing towards Toomey. No way."

Shabby: That doesn't really explain the discrepancy. There were hardly any independents in that poll since they included republican leaners in with the republicans and democrat leaners in with the democrats.

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Von Wallenstein:

#1, no one is to the right of santorum, at least north of the mason-dixon line

#2, in '06 and '10 sestak beat two awful candidates, weldon and 40-yr republican-cum-democrat specter, neither one of whom is up to the caliber of toomey.

this one's in the bag for pat

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shabby:

45 people identified as independents no lean if I'm reading the cross section correct. That's 10% of the sample size. Seems like that would impact the data. I hardly claim to be an expert though, but that was how I understood the polling data breakdowns. Please correct me if I interpreted that wrong.

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tjampel:

Von Wallenstein:

#1, no one is to the right of santorum, at least north of the mason-dixon line

Totally untrue. Toomey is ranked as the #22 most conservative politician in Congress out of the last 1000. Santorum is way back. Toomey is sandwiched between Coburn and Tancredo.

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tjampel:

BTW...I didn't just make this stuff up (I leave that to your side of the aisle).

Here's Harry Enten's post on the comparison between Toomey and Santorum:

"Using joint House and Senate scaling (which treat the House and Senate a single body to compare scores across chambers), we find that Pat Toomey (.718) had a considerably more conservative voting record than Rick Santorum (.349). To put that number into context, Lincoln Chafee (the ultimate liberal Republican and now independent) had a DW-Nominate score of .002 and Republican Arlen Specter had a score of .067. Republican Specter was slightly to the right of Chafee; Santorum was considerably right of Chafee; and, Toomey was much further right.

Still, I wanted to get a better idea of how conservative Toomey voting record was. So, I pulled the DW-Nominate score of every United States legislator (House and Senate) since 1995**. Toomey is on the rightward edge of even the GOP caucus as seen in the percentage histogram below, while his possible Democratic opponents in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate contest are actually slightly more centrist than their party as a whole. Indeed, of the 1,004 legislators to receive a DW-Nominate score for their career since 1995, Toomey ranked as the 22nd most conservative."

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Field Marshal:

And he'll be the next senator of PA. Go Toomey!

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Field Marshal:

Looks like Chiles is exiting the Florida Gubernatorial race.

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dpearl:

"45 people identified as independents no lean if I'm reading the cross section correct. That's 10% of the sample size. Seems like that would impact the data."

Only a little. If we had about 9 more independents going for Sestak then the results would look typical so that would only change things by about one and a half percent on the total.

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cmbat:

Post election Senate

Dems 54
Reps 44
Indies 2

Dems keep the House too, by the way.

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dpearl:

"Looks like Chiles is exiting the Florida Gubernatorial race."

Conventional wisdom says that will add a point or two to Alex Sink's position and make her a clear favorite at this point. Should be interesting to see the next survey on that.

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Georgia Joe:

At this point in the election cycle, the very interested and engaged may have made up their mind on who they are going to vote for. A significant group of voters haven't really checked into these races and won't for quite some time. Before anyone gets too excited about the results of these early polls, remember that within this very time frame in 2008, John McCain was about to become the Republican nominee and post convention take a lead in the polls. That campaign crashed and burned when the voters figured out the candidate and the weakness of his running mate. There is plenty of time for voters to get interested and start paying attention to these races and determine that some of these candidates, like Toomey, Angle, Paul, Rubio and Buck are way out of the mainstream. It will be hard for these candidates to run to the middle and appeal to independents with any credibility. They risk losing some of their nutty base.

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nick283:

Funny how Rasmussen is more accurate all the sudden once he starts showing what liberals want to see. Weird how that works.

Toomey is ahead and has more money, not a bad place to be. Liberal blogger Nate Silver has Toomey's chances at 88%. I'd say that sounds about right.

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Field Marshal:

Georgia Joe is not too far off from the nutty base on pollster.com of farleft and melvin with that rant.

All the republicans are extremists who want to dismantle the government and allow anarchy while at the same time sending all minorities to plantations then taking every cent the poor and middle class have to give to the rich.

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Georgia Joe:

Not all Republicans fit into your category Field Marshall, only the ones I mentioned. Even you should be afraid of these candidates. They make Jim Bunning look middle of the road and informed.

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nick283:

Wow, Georgia Joe, do even you believe the BS that you throw out there? Obama and the Democratic leadership are the ones who are way out of the mainstream. Thats why Republicans are polling so well and why a lot of Democrat congressmen are running from Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

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Mogando669:

"All the republicans are extremists who want to dismantle the government and allow anarchy while at the same time sending all minorities to plantations then taking every cent the poor and middle class have to give to the rich."

And all obama wants is to "redistribute" wealth from the middle class down to the poverty class in the form of welfare, entitlements, pro union rulings, and tax credits for every little thing.


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Farleftandproud:

I don't believe the favorables on Toomey. I have made many calls for Sestak, and while I know Sestak is having a hard time selling himself, and voters are frustrated, I can say that most of them don't trust Toomey any more. This is just another poll where Ras. has overpolled Republicans, assuming the inner city folks and college folks won't show up. This will be closer than expected.

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Farleftandproud:

I am happy to know that there are people in Georgia with views similar to mind and not afraid to express themselves. I have talked with lots of progressives in heavily red states, and I admire their endurance to go up against the odds and try to change public opinion, where progress moves very slowly.

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StatyPolly:

Breaking from CNN: Hurricane Earl and Senator Murkowski concede!

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Bigmike:

Georgia Joe:

"At this point in the election cycle, the very interested and engaged may have made up their mind on who they are going to vote for. A significant group of voters haven't really checked into these races and won't for quite some time."

In theory I actually agree with your statement. Most of the country does not spend a lot of time on pollster, 538, etc.

But when you went and used McCain for your example it falls apart. If you are counting on GOP candidates to run as poor a campaign as McCain did you are in for a rude awakening.

First he took public financing, which meant that BO was able to outspend him by a huge margin since BO did not go the public route.

And then that stupid stunt of suspending his campaign to rush back to DC to work on saving the economy. I don't know who advised him on that but it was the dumbest thing I have ever seen in politics. In so many ways.

First "suspended" campaigns happen in primaries. It means hey I lost but I am keeping my hat in the ring in case the front runner dies or makes a monumental mistake.

And to bank on McCain playing a big role in the economic package that was put together, some moron had no clue. Whatever package was put together had to get passed by congress. You remember who congress was at the time? The Dems controlled both houses. Did McCain really expect them to play nice with him and give him all of the credit? He is the bipartisan bimbo. The Dems sure weren't. They made darn sure he got no credit whatsoever. Just like you might expect them to in an election year when he is the nominee of the other party.

How could you run a campaign any worse?

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Bigmike:

Lord, I been reading too many left wing posts on here. I've become a windbag.

The point I was making is that if you can't expect Toomey, Burr, Blunt, Rubio, and all of the others to run campaigns as poor as McCain did.

They just have to play the same game the Dems did in 08. They ran against Bush, who wasn't even on the ballot. I beleive that is their only real strategy this year too, run against Dubya. The GOP just needs to run against Obama, who isn't on the ballot.

You want proof. Just scroll up. If BO is anywhere near -16 in job approval in blue PA, the Dems are in big trouble. Its late and I won't bother to look it up, but if my memory is correct the GOP has not carried PA in a presidential election since the Reagan Mega-Landslide in 84. PA in play is a major Dem meltdown.

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John1:

FLAPs posts make me laugh. He holds up Georgia Joe as a beacon of "progress" in the south when 99% of what Georgia Joe says is no better than his posts or melvins for that matter. I continue to hope they aren't afraid to express themselves since its people like melvin, FLAP, and Georgia Joe who will give "progressivism" the same negative conotation as liberal, if Obama doesn't beat them to it.

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Huda:

I see Ras getting closer to reality base polling and tightening their results as we get closer to election day. I don't see Toomey, Rubio and Angles winning their senate seat. They scare seniors, unemployed & under-employed (which is 4 in 5 Americans today), women, minorities, moderate indies....basically all the wining coalitions in a national election that are not hardcore conservatives.

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Bigmike:

I can see seniors, the unemployed, indies, and Americans of all sorts being more afraid of Obamam, Pelosi, and Reid than they are of Toomey, Ribio, and Angle. Isn't that why the Dems numbers have been slipping so much?

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Bigmike:

Excuse the typing. I hope it is obvious that I meant Obama and Rubio instead of Obamam and Ribio.

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Huda:

lol, well there is the political fantasy of today's right wing conservatives, then there is the reality BigMike. Americans are fickle when it comes to political ideology....unless you are radical left or radical right....most fall in the middle. I have no love for either party, but I would never walk into a voting booth & cast my vote for Angle (rape victims need to make lemon out of lemonade), Toomey (never met a corporate welfare queen I did not want to cut their taxes @ the expense of the middle class), Rubio ( I'm clueless in a State where 0ver 50% of its population live on Medicare and SS benefits, but think I can win campaigning to cut it).

Obama despite tea party and right wing rage and conspiracy minded paranoia....high unemployment.....slow economy...YET he still has higher polling number than Clinton and Reagan @ their worse. You see, many Americans might not approve of Obama...but they neither hate him nor think he's a closeted Muslim hired by al-qaida. Rather, the disapproval is based on the fact Obama has yet to do more for middle and working class of America (the majority in this country)....that dreaded expansion of more government services which terrifies your ilk.

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CompCon:

What is this "tightening toward the dems" you people are talking about? In the past 6 rasmussen polls, the results have consistently shown Toomey between +6 and +8.

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tjampel:

If you're talking to me read what else I said, regarding tightening...

"either that [tightening] or there's been some recent statistical noise appearing to look like tightening... but certainly no expansion of leads for Repubs"

This comes after a period where Repubs have been expanding their leads. They still are doing so in OH Gov and MO Senate and, perhaps PA GOV, but what looked like a steady decline by Dems seems to have stabilized.

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CompCon:

@tjampel:

Leads for republicans are only expanding in the traditionally left leaning polls. What I think has actually happened is that the lefty polls are getting closer to the reality that Rasmussen has been showing for at least 4 months now. Rasmussen isn't showing a significant uptick for republicans because they already started showing it 4 months ago. That's when the ras-bashing became severe. Now that the lefty polls are catching up to Rasmussen people are still unwilling to admit Rasmussen's uncanny accuracy and the ability to show trends earlier than the other pollsters.

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