1/29 Ups & Downs
Polls, primaries and the never-ending budget battle. See who made this week’s list!
Kathleen Kane. Undoubtedly the biggest shock of the week was the Harper Poll showing Kane leading the Democratic field of Attorney General candidates. All of a sudden, her threat to run for re-election seems viable. Additionally, it appears that the State Senate’s attempt to kick her out of office has lost some steam as the State House is looking into impeachment instead. For the first time in months, there is a sliver of a chance that Kane will have her referendum on the ballot and not in a courtroom.
Tom Wolf. It’s looking like the Governor has decided that the 2015 budget battle will be carried over into the 2016 budget process. In an interview this week, Gov. Wolf warned that a “train wreck” was coming. That, of course, is a huge problem for him. If the state is forced into severe financial distress, he’ll take the heat as the leader and most visible figure in the government. Proving that point was a new Franklin & Marshall poll which found Wolf’s approval numbers trailing Corbett’s at this point in his tenure. Worst of all, two-thirds of Pennsylvanians think the state is currently on the wrong track. The Governor doesn’t have much more time until voters start blaming him for the mess.
Joe Sestak. The good news for Sestak is that during the week two separate polls, Harper and Franklin & Marshall, showed him in the lead. The bad news is that neither lead was particularly large. At this point, it’s also unclear how much of Sestak’s advantage comes from name recognition since he was the 2010 Democratic Senate nominee. So while the former Congressman is still ahead three months out, the large numbers of undecided voters shows that McGinty and even Fetterman are still very much in the race.
Bill Shuster. Last week, GOP primary challenger Art Halvorson unveiled some impressive staff hires. In response, yesterday Congressman Bill Shuster announced the endorsement of his colleague and fellow Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member Mark Meadows. The importance of Meadows’ support comes from the fact that he was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, which should provide some protection on Shuster’s right flank.
Pat Meehan. What the campaign giveth, the campaign taketh away. Last month, one of Meehan’s potential Democratic opponents switched elections. On Monday, however, he found out that businessman Stan Casacio would be running in the GOP primary. Given Meehan’s margin of victory in 2014, a primary is a bigger threat to him than the general election and Casacio is already hitting him for supposedly being too moderate. As a result, 2016 could be a tougher year than Meehan anticipated.
The tweet of the week goes to former Governor Ed Rendell for this epic typo (hat tip to Gideon Resnick).
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) January 26, 2016