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August 17, 2010

PA Sen: Toomey Holds Big Lead Over Sestak Thanks to Large Enthusiasm Gap

Posted in: Pennsylvania,Senate

Republican Pat Toomey holds a substantial nine-point lead in his Pennsylvania Senate race against Democrat Joe Sestak, according to a new PPP poll of likely voters. Sestak suffers from tanking support for Obama and a serious enthusiasm gap. Currently, only 40 percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania approve of Obama’s job performance while 55 percent disapprove.

PPP (PDF) (8/14-16)
Joe Sestak 36
Pat Toomey 45
Undecided 20

That is a serious deficit for Sestak in what many people thought was going to be a close race in a traditional swing state. One of the big problems for Sestak, according to PPP, is that Democratic-leaning voters are not enthusiastic about this election, many saying they are not sure to vote this November.

This is our first poll of the race explicitly surveying likely voters and given the considerably greater enthusiasm on the Republican side we’re seeing an electorate in the state that voted for John McCain by a point in 2008, in contrast to Barack Obama’s actual 10 point victory in the state.

It seems Obama’s is having problems with the base that extends well beyond the handful of individuals Robert Gibbs labeled the “professional left.” With enthusiasm on the Democratic side so weak, it might be time for the White House to reverse its strategy of attacking the dedicated progressives, and instead do things that might actually get the base excited. For example, Elizabeth Warren could not only have been appointed to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but through several different means, she could be put in power right away to start protecting rank-and-file Americans.


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