Deja Vu

August 13th, 2009at 09:23am Posted by Eli

Senate Guru points to some encouraging poll results (caveat: Rasmussen):

13.  What’s that number?  It’s the gap between Specter and Congressman Sestak in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.  Specter’s lead over Congressman Sestak is only 47-34 according to Rasmussen.  Rasmussen’s last poll, in June, showed the 19-point deficit, a 51-32 result.

Rasmussen also reminds us that Specter still remains “much better known” across the state than Congressman Sestak.  In other words, Congressman Sestak still has plenty of room to grow in terms of name ID as his campaign gets underway, but has already cut his deficit by a third.  Also, this is the very first non-Franklin & Marshall poll (F&M’s numbers were relatively very low for both candidates) to show Specter under 50%.

(…)

This poll is bad news for Specter and great news for Congressman Sestak – not just because it shows Congressman Sestak closing the gap, but also because it adds credibility to his campaign.  Specter winning is not remotely a foregone conclusion.  The more that PA-Dem primary voters recognize that, the more open they’ll be to Congressman Sestak’s candidacy, and the less power the Ed Rendell machine will have to stop the political dam from breaking.

This reminds me a lot of Lamont’s campaign against Lieberman three years ago.  Most CT Democrats were desperate for an alternative to Lieberman, and all Lamont really had to do was make sure they knew who he was, and could see him as a viable, more progressive alternative.  Of course, the problem in CT was that Lieberman was able to run as an independent and get the benefit of the Republican vote, where PA affords Specter no such luxury.

It is probably also worth noting that outside of the Democratic party establishment (feh), Specter’s Democratic support is almost certainly a lot thinner than Lieberman’s was.  Lieberman was a Democratic senator (in name, at least) for 18 years, whereas for Specter it will be closer to 18 months.

My prediction is that Specter will attempt the same play Lieberman used in CT: Pretend to be a lot more progressive than he actually is, than revert to form immediately after the election.  Again, though, decades of being an actual Republican will make that a lot harder for him to pull off than it was for Joementum.  Fingers crossed.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Lamont,Lieberman,Pittsburgh/PA,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Specter


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