Schumer Hearts Santorum

From Rasmussen: (via political wire):

When pollsters informed voters that the National Organization for Women "is concerned about Casey on the abortion issue" 24% of Casey's initial voters "changed their mind upon hearing this news" and half actually switched to Santorum. "The change was dramatic enough that, having heard the new information, voters favored Santorum by a five-point margin (46% to 41%)."

Glad to see we're protecting those marginals.

UPDATE: Whoa, there's quite a backlash in the comments. Here's what I understand about PA politics. There are a bunch of moderate Republican single issue voters in the Philly suburbs. These are women who want low taxes and are pro-choice. They will vote for the pro-choice candidate, as they did for Specter and Kerry in 2004. When candidates are equal on the choice issue, they will vote for the Republican.

UPDATE AGAIN: A Quinnipiac poll also came out which shows Casey with the worst head-to-head results in a year. On the abortion question, this poll doesn't have conclusive results. While it asks whether Democrats would switch votes in the primary to other relatively unserious candidates based on this single issue, it doesn't ask Republican pro-choicers about the general, and those are the single issue voters that I'm talking about.

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Pennsylvania Senate Race

As we all know, election time is closing in on us and the Senate race for Pennsylvania is looking to be incredibly interesting. The incumbent Rick Santorum is already facing strong opposition from Democrat Bob Casey, however, Casey's victory in the primaries is far from guaranteed. Alan Sandals has shown that he is a viable candidate in the upcoming May 16th primary. His recent endorsement from the National Organization of Women PAC and the Feminist Majority have catapulted his campaign which makes me anxious to see what happens on the April 8th and 16th debates.

Originally, Casey dodged the issue of debates but has since accepted. With two debates now scheduled Sandals could potentially continue steaming with the momentum he's building. Early results from a Quinnipiac University poll showed that Casey had a 12% lead over Santorum, after introducing the candidates politics that lead dropped to 2%. This means that people were not voting for Casey based on his politics, but instead, because he was not Rick Santorum. The upcoming debates could possibly have the same effect. By exposing Casey's and Sandals' stances on the issues on a public stage, that same drop in Casey support could flow over to Sandals' favor.

I've been researching this campaign for a while now and honestly, I have to throw my support towards Sandals. What got me is his strong objectivity. He's a strong supporter of the seperation of church and state despite his strong religious beliefs. This shows me that he opperates off what he feels is best for everyone, not just his own interests.

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Republicans Jumping Ship?

This morning, AP writer Tom Raum noticed something I wrote about here a month ago. Republican candidates love the money President Bush can help them raise, but they sure aren't fond of being seen with the guy in public. When I first brought it up, I was talking about Republican Governors. Call this the Senate edition.

Many worried Republicans on the ballot in November have been pushing away from the White House, not wanting to be dragged under by President Bush's sinking approval ratings and growing anxiety over Iraq.

That doesn't mean they're also fleeing his cash offerings, however.

Despite approval ratings in the mid-to-upper 30s, Bush remains the nation's most successful fundraiser. Vice President Dick Cheney, whose poll numbers are even lower than Bush's, is not far behind. Both have raised tens of millions of dollars for GOP congressional and gubernatorial candidates running in this year's midterm elections.

Even as some Republicans are becoming increasingly defiant on a range of issues, they're still lining up dutifully for the president's campaign dollars.

The examples Raum gives are hilarious. Maryland Senate candidate Michael Steele appeared with Bush at an event that took in $500,000 after being a no-show at a Bush speech at the Naval Academy. It was a similar story for Minnesota Senate candidate Mark Kennedy. New Jersey Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr showed up late to a $400,000 fundraiser after Dick Cheney had already left, laughably blaming a traffic tie-up.

And he's not the only political writer who's noticed the trend. Steve Goldstein of The Philadelphia Inquirer catches Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum trying to run from the President's shadow publicly while accepting millions at country club fundraisers with Bush in private. The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire calls out Mark Kennedy and Steele, as well as Ohio Senator Mike DeWine, for publicly running away from Bush.

This is, of course, par for the political course. But it's still funny to watch the Republicans squirm. No matter how much they may want to distance themselves from Bush in the media, they're completely beholden to him and his money. Much in the same way McCain publicly criticizes Bush and then goes along with the White House agenda, this is all kabuki. Republicans aren't really jumping ship. They're 100% behind the guy running the ship headlong into an iceberg.

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McCain's Approval Ratings Punctured, and Other Survey USA Goodies

Lots of fascinating new stuff out from Survey USA's new Senator rankings, as Chris notes in Breaking Blue.

First up, McCain.  In Arizona, he's taking a beating in his approval/disapproval ratings.  He was up 72-24 a month ago, he's now 64-29.  That's a 13 point swing.  What's more interesting is where the swing is happening.  Among Democrats, his approval rating has dropped from 73-24 to 58-32, a drop of 23 points.  Among independents, he goes from 72-25 to 64-30, a drop of  13 points (which I would imagine is occurring among left-leaning independents).  Among Republicans, he stayed neutral, going from 70-24 to 72-26.  McCain's partisanship isn't new, but the willingness of Democrats to call him on it is new, and this seems to be having an effect.

Next up, Lieberman.  His numbers haven't moved in any statistically significant manner.  He's below 50% among liberals, which will become more of a problem if he keeps pissing off influential journalists by yelling at them.  He still has very high ratings in Connecticut among Republicans and generally good favorables among Democrats.

Both Santorum and Burns are in desperately weak Katherine Harris-esque territory, though Republicans still seem to like both of them.

In New Jersey, Bob Menendez is shoring up his approval ratings quite dramatically.

Two places I'm watching are Arizona and Virginia.  While I think Kyl is vulnerable, and the numbers show him at below 50%, Jim Pederson hasn't yet done anything to prove he can win this.  And in Virginia, George Allen looks like he can be taken down with the right campaign, though it will not be easy.

An interesting set of numbers.  I wonder, what do you think explains the drop in McCain's approval rating among Democrats and left-leaning Independents?

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Activist Workshop in Philly Suburbs 4/8/06

Grow the Blue, in partnership with the Ursinus College Democrats, is pleased to announce its 2nd annual GtB Activists' Workshop in the NW Philadelphia suburbs:

"Elections 2006: Get Involved. Make an Impact."

Ursinus College, Olin Hall
Collegeville, PA
Saturday, April 8, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Keynote Speaker:
Lois Murphy, candidate for U.S. Congress, 6th District

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Hon. Joe Hoeffel
  • Rep. Allyson Schwartz, U.S. Congress, 13th District
  • Netta Young Hughes, candidate, PA State House, 70th District
For more information, download the flyer and registration form.

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