Pat Toomey is considered one of the more vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2016, but one new poll finds the Pennsylvania Republican leading possible Democratic challengers. A new survey from Harper Polling, a GOP firm, finds Toomey ahead by double-digits against three Democrats considering a bid against him. In addition, a total of 54 percent of likely voters say they have a favorable or somewhat favorable view of the first-term senator.
Toomey's 2010 opponent, Joe Sestak, isn't faring any better against his Republican rival this time around, with 53 percent supporting Toomey and 32 percent supporting Sestak while 15 percent remain undecided. Five years ago, Toomey bested Sestak by just two percentage points, one of the closest Senate races that year. Sestak, a former Philadelphia-area congressman, doesn't seem to have made much of an impression on Pennsylvania voters statewide, with 35 percent saying they don't have an opinion of him. Among those who do know him, the opinions are split, with 23 percent saying they have a favorable or somewhat favorable view and 22 percent saying they have an unfavorable or somewhat unfavorable view.
Against two other possible Democratic opponents, Toomey does about as well. Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski earns 30 percent support against Toomey's 54 percent, while Montgomery County commissioner Josh Shapiro earns 27 percent to Toomey's 55 percent. Both Pawlowski and Shapiro are virtually unknown throughout the state.
Toomey's relatively good standing in Pennsylvania, a solidly Democratic state on the presidential level, suggests the Republican and former Club for Growth president is benefitting from a more moderate tack on some issues like gun control. But Toomey has also cultivated a tough-on-crime record, from spearheading the effort to block a Justice Department nomination of Debo Adegbile, who defended convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, to a recent speech defending the police in the wake of riots in Baltimore.
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte announces this morning that she will not support the Manchin-Toomey gun bill, which is supposed to be voted on today in the Senate. Instead, Ayotte says, she is supporting "the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act."
Senator Pat Toomey has finally posted the full text of "The Public Safety And Second Amendment Rights Protection Act," the so called gun Senate compromise bill, agreed upon by Toomey, Joe Manchin, and Chuck Schumer. Here's the text of 7,800 word bill:
On November 7, Republican senator Pat Toomey proposed a compromise on taxes to members of the supercommittee tasked with cutting the deficit. “There was a moment there, a 24-hour period, when several Democrats expressed a great deal of interest in the framework I laid out,” Toomey tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, called Toomey's proposal a "breakthrough."
House speaker John Boehner has chosen Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas to be co-chair of the joint select committee on deficit reduction, or the so-called supercommittee. Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan, were also selected by Boehner to represent the House Republicans on the supercommittee. Meanwhile, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has chosen fellow senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Rob Portman of Ohio as the GOP Senate representatives.
The latest indestructible media meme is that Republicans are in disarray over Paul Ryan's proposed Medicare reform. "Republican rift widens on Medicare," write The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Julian Pecquet today.
Four new Republican senators--Marco Rubio (Fla.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), and Pat Toomey (Penn.)--just concluded a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and senators Richard Burr (N.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) were on the trip as well.
Many people are talking about the dramatic tightening of the Pennsylvania Senate race between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak. But upon closer inspection, most of that apparent tightening seems to be a mirage.
During the Pennsylvania Senate debate on Wednesday night, Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak each tried to paint the other as too extreme to represent the Keystone state. Both candidates came well-armed with their talking points and were fairly well-matched rhetorically. Toomey was businesslike and bland, while Sestak spoke in hushed "more-in-sadness-than-in-anger" tones, with the occasional flash of indignation.
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.
Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, declares: "You can put Pennsylvania Senate back in the toss up category. Joe Sestak leads Pat Toomey 46-45 in our newest poll of the race, erasing the 9 point deficit he had in an August PPP survey."