“Four years of high unemployment: Senator Bob Casey’s failed record,” an announcer says. “We need a proven job creator. Meet Tom Smith. His story is the American dream.”
It’s a basic bio spot similar in theme and substance to Smith’s first ad of the primary campaign. He’ll be the first of the two general election candidates on the air.
Smith Campaign Manager Jim Conroy called the ad buy “substantial”. PoliticsPA is seeking specific details of its size and scope.
“Today our campaign begins our effort to offer voters a clear choice in November,” said Conroy. “Will we re-elect a career politician who has done nothing but serve as a rubber-stamp for failed policies that have ballooned the debt, increased taxes and failed to create jobs – or will we send a proven job creator to Washington?”
Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County, muscled his way through a crowded Republican primary by dominating the state’s television airwaves. But he won’t enjoy the same kind of unilateral advantage in the general. Casey reported $6.23 million cash on hand at the end of June; after the expensive primary took its toll Smith reported $2.28 million, bringing his total loans and in-kinds to his campaign to over $7 million.
Smith has some catching up to do when it comes to name ID in the state. Polls have shown a wide range of numbers of voters who have an opinion of him (which vary depending on how specifically the question has been asked).
A Rasmussen poll released this week for example showed Casey with 90 percent name ID versus 71 percent for Smith. 6 weeks ago, a Franklin and Marshall survey found that 77 percent of voters didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
Each of the roughly half dozen polls since the primary has in common that Smith’s ID trails Casey’s by double digits.
It’s a later start than Pat Toomey got in 2010; free to raise money in a virtually uncontested GOP field, Toomey put up this ad within days of the primary to try and cool Joe Sestak’s momentum.