Keystone State is falling out for Dems

How bad are things starting to look for Democrats in Pennsylvania? About as bad as they’re looking in Ohio.

  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has now spent at least $2.5 million trying to move the needle in the Senate race between Pat Toomey, R, and Joe Sestak, D. It hasn’t worked. The most recent polls all show Toomey at or near 50 percent, with Sestak trailing by the same 5 to 9 point margin he has trailed by all summer.
  • The Democrats’ gubernatorial candidate, Dan Onorato, has been considered dead meat since he was nominated. Recent polls seem to confirm this.
  • Democratic House incumbents on opposite ends of the state are posting terrible numbers, according to the Franklin and Marshall College poll. In Erie (PA-3), Freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D, clocks in at 38 percent and 6 points behind Republican challenger Mike Kelly. The same pollster found Rep. Patrick Murphy, D, in northeast suburban Philly (PA-8), trails by 14 points against the man he defeated in 2006, former Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R.
  • We’ll have to wait and see in the other vulnerable districts: those of Democratic Reps. Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), whom the NRCC is hammering with a six-figure ad buy; Mark Critz (PA-12); Jason Altmire (PA-4); and Joe Sestak’s open seat (PA-7). And don’t forget Rep. Chris Carney, D (PA-10), whose opponent is badly flawed but whose district is so Republican that he could be swept away with the tide.
  • All the tough talk of picking up the Allentown seat of Rep. Charlie Dent, R (once held by Toomey) has been silenced. Stu Rothenberg says they can also forget about picking off Rep. Jim Gerlach, R.

The DSCC, facing newly sprung leaks in Wisconsin and New York State, may have to pull the plug on Sestak soon and focus resources on races where they have a better chance (those two states plus Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, and possibly Kentucky and West Virginia) in order to save their Senate majority. If Rep. Mike Castle, R, enters the race in Delaware as a write-in, they might have to spend even more money there.

The DCCC’s only expenditure in Pennsylvania so far this month has been a small purchase of mailers for Dahlkemper’s race. Does that strike you as interesting? There are seven Democratic districts there in serious peril.

Beltway Confidentialelection 2010joe sestakUS

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