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Wake-Up Call in Pennsylvania

Keeping an eye on Toomey v. Sestak.

12:21 PM, Oct 20, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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After some initial skepticism at a PPP poll that showed Democrat Joe Sestak one point ahead of Republican Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania Senate race (46% to 45%), another poll by Muhlenberg showed Sestak up three, 44% to 41%. That was enough to wake up conservatives. Some conservative bloggers are urging their readers to donate to Toomey, and Fred Bauer offers this advice

Toomey will have to keep reminding voters (and especially independents) what a vote for Sestak would mean: another vote for the Obama agenda. Sestak is trying to present himself as an open-minded voice of reason while casting Toomey as a Tea Party fanatic.

Toomey will need to fight back against that narrative. Toomey's website features an "Extremism Watch" that attempts to link Sestak to a radical agenda; however, the latest entry in that "watch" is from May. Emphasizing that message may help Toomey take back the momentum.

The grassroots right may find it more helpful to turn its attention away from certain long-shot Senate races and focus more on close Senate races like this one (or the ones in Nevada or Kentucky). At a certain point, elections aren't about sending a message or coming close: they're about winning. This is a race the GOP can win, but it has to keep its eye on the ball.

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