Posted by Brad @ 12:04 pm on June 26th 2009

Time for Specter to Start Sweating

Another poll, this one from Franklin and Marshall. The good news? Specter is +20 against Joe Sestak. That doesn’t sound so bad, until you see the actual numbers:

Specter 33
Sestak 13
Other 6
Undecided 48

Bearing in mind that Specter has about 100% name ID in the state and is the highest profile convert to the party in perhaps the highest profile race for next cycle. And only a third of Democratic voters are willing to back him.

Worse yet are the internals. His approval ratings in the state, since March, have gone from 52% to 34%. His favorability ratings have swung a net 30%. Only 28% of voters believe he “deserves to be reelected”; 57% say it’s time for someone new.

If Smokin’ Joe can raise some early money, he may well smoke Specter.


  1. And right on cue, I get another letter from Sestak’s office highlighting this exact poll… and requesting a donation. I wonder what Smokin Joe’s decision matrix looks like. He has established a goal of $70K in new donations by June 30th, not sure where he stands with that. What would be his make or break criteria? If he gets the 70K is he definately in? If he only gets 25 is he definately out? I would really like to know that kind of inside baseball stuff. Man, I wonder how hard it would be for a little blog to get an interview.

    Comment by Jack — 6/26/2009 @ 10:03 pm

  2. $70k? Jesus, that’s peanuts. I’ve been very very peripherally “on the inside” for two house race decisions like this one (in two much smaller states), and “only” 70k at this stage would have made them both think about it, but it would have been a really really hard decision. Even hiring an internal pollster to check out if you have a real shot costs a sixth of that. Throw in bare bones staff, the absolute minimum in campaign schwag (maybe a cheapo office and some phones and buttons), and even a moderately acceptable travel schedule to just raise more money, and you’re already pushing 70k.

    My guess would be that’s a pretty face-value metric for him. Even if he made it, but just barely, he’d have to be committed to running one hell of a shoestring campaign. I mean, compare it to the VA primary, which would be somewhat comparable in cost to PA (at least in the ballpark, though PA would probably be 150% more expensive). I don’t know what Deeds spent, but between Moran and McAullife you’re talking over three million for the losers.

    Comment by Brad — 6/27/2009 @ 2:50 pm

  3. Oh, you might consider just asking the staff for an interview. I’m technically a PA blogger, and if you shopped it around in a few other places (a Dailykos diary, a Donklephant entry, etc), they could probably justify a little of the congressman’s time. You could reasonably offer 50k unique views or so over those various places (plus our eight)—something spicy or particularly interesting might jack that up. It would be a worthwhile 10 minutes for the Sestak campaign.

    Especially if they’re running on 70k. Shit, they might beg you.

    Comment by Brad — 6/27/2009 @ 2:53 pm

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