The presidential race in PA has gone from 0 to 60 in just a few days. Here’s all the latest polling data and ad spending. Plus, LOTS of news from Pa.’s House & Senate races. Good morning politicos, 5 days left. Here’s the Buzz.
F&M Poll: Obama 48, Romney 44; Casey 46, Smith 35: The presidential contest has narrowed considerably while the U.S. Senate race hasn’t budged according to the latest Franklin and Marshall poll of registered Pa. voters.
Prez Pa. Ad Spending Scorecard: The floodgates are open. Need help keeping track of the flood of ad spending in Pa.? We are. Americans for Prosperity announced a $1.5 million Pa. buy Wednesday, bringing the score to $6.8M GOP, $1.6M Dem Here’s the latest.
Obama On TV in PA (Watch Videos): President Obama’s campaign is on television in Pennsylvania for the first time in months: a $1.6 million rotation of one positive and one negative ad. Plus, a rundown of the nearly $7 million in presidential ads on TV this week.
Dems Slam Toohil Over Video With $100K Ad (Watch Video): Rep. Tarah Toohil has gone from being a safe incumbent to a top target in two weeks. The House Democratic Campaign Committee will air this ad about Toohil’s recent embarrassing online video scandal to the tune of $100,000.
Pa.’s Got the Pundit Blues: Aside a flurry of last-minute television ads, Pennsylvania has been notably absent from the battleground state conversation. No one (besides TV networks) is harder hit than Pa.’s pundits. PoliticsPA commiserated with a few of them.
Newspaper Endorsements Open Thread: It’s that time of year. Newspapers around Pa. are backing candidates. Here’s PoliticsPA’s running list of endorsements in statewide and congressional races.
Rubio Coming Back to Delco: For the first time since the GOP primary, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is coming to Pa. He’ll rally for Mitt Romney in Delaware County. Plus, Tagg Romney in Harrisburg.
Sen. Johnson to Rally for Smith: Wealthy businessman and political neophyte takes on well known incumbent Democratic Senator – and wins. It’s the story of Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010, and one Tom Smith hopes to emulate in 2012.
Smith’s Daughter Stars in Closing Ad (Watch Video): We met his mom, now meet Tom Smith’s daughter Allison. She stars in the GOP Senate hopeful’s closing ad
Clinton Back on TV for Kane (Watch Video): If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Kathleen Kane is on the air with an updated version of her strong primary election ad starring former President Bill Clinton.
PA-12: #1 in Outside House Spending: Pennsylvania’s number one congressional race is now the number one congressional race in terms of outside money spent nationally.
Marino Tweets, Then Deletes, Inartful Sandy Message: As Pa. cleans up from Hurricane Sandy, Rep. Tom Marino’s office is cleaning up a social media account.
Legislative Election Updates
The PA Independent takes a look at the statewide picture for the state House.
The conservative Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania makes its 2012 endorsements.
Keystone Progress, meanwhile, has your progressive voter guide from President down to state House across Pa.
SD-13: The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal endorsed Dem challenger Tom O’Brien over Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster). “O’Brien faces long odds, but his history shows that he has the ability to reach across party lines to work for the interests of all taxpayers.”
SD-15: In his final TV ad, John McNally accuses Dem Rob Teplitz of supporting a commuter tax for Harrisburg Teplitz slams McNally over abortion, saying he opposes it even in cases of rape and incest.
SD-15: And about that commuter tax, now Teplitz is running robocalls to suburbanites saying he’s been a leader in opposition to it. Except.. he hasn’t.
SD-15: Finally, The Patriot News has endorsed Dem Rob Teplitz for State Senate over GOP hopeful John McNally. “But on the issues, we believe Rob Teplitz has the edge and we endorse him in the race. On the issue of Harrisburg’s financial woes, we like his willingness to say that everything, including bankruptcy and a commuter tax, must be on the table.”
SD-17: Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco) is facing GOP challenger Charles Gehret. The Delco Daily Times has the biggest story to date about the race.
SD-37: The Observer-Reporter has endorsed Dem Matt Smith for the seat of outgoing Sen. John Pippy (R-Allegheny). He faces GOP hopeful Raja. “A lawyer by training, Smith has represented Pennsylvania’s 42nd House District since 2007 and has supported measures to ban texting and handheld cellphone use while driving, a moratorium on property tax reassessments, protecting children with food allergies and introduced a bill making it easier for military spouses to transfer professional licenses once they relocate to Pennsylvania. Smith has a solid grasp on both the issues facing this region and how Harrisburg functions.”
SD-37: In other news, Smith’s campaign hilariously criticized Raja for the gaul of taking contributions from Senate Rs – nearly $1M as of Oct. 22. Both candidates have been heavily funded directly or indirectly by party leaders in Harrisburg.
SD-47: Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) slammed his Dem challenger Kim Villella in a series of mail pieces recently, accusing her of opposing the new Shell ethane cracker plant in the district. Villella issued a press release protest, saying she opposed some of the details of the plan, but not the plant: “This is an absolute distortion of reality. Who in their right mind would oppose job creation in our district? My concern is that the tax incentives are not tied to actual job creation. Also, what happens down the line if the plant becomes largely automated in the future. I expected low blows but this is beyond the scope of reason.”
SD-49: The Erie Times-News backed Dem Sean Wiley over GOPer Janet Anderson to succeed Sen. Jane Earll (R-Erie). “Wiley is the better choice to succeed Earll, an official he describes as ‘a very strong leader’ and someone he respects. In his campaign, Wiley communicated clearly his concerns about budget cuts to education and human services.” The Pennsylvania Anesthesiologists, Pennsylvania Emergency Physicians, Pennsylvania Ophthalmologists and Pennsylvania Physician’s Assistants also backed WIley.
SD-49: Meanwhile Anderson, “would like to officially announce her pro-business endorsements by the Pennsylvania Chamber, National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), Pennsylvania Business Council (PEG PAC), and the Northwest Pennsylvania Food Council,” her campaign said. “While it will be difficult to replace Sen. Earll, Janet Anderson, who’s working hard and enjoys strong local support, offers the best chance to keep a pro-business vote in that seat. The State Senate will benefit from her background and experience as an economic development specialist who understands what it takes to grow the state’s economy,” said Pennsylvania Business Council President and CEO David W. Patti.
HD-3: The Erie Times News has endorsed Dem Ryan Bizzaro over GOP challenger Jason Owen. “If elected, Bizzarro likely will be in the minority in the Republican-controlled State House, but we believe that his intelligence, honesty and his own description as “moderate, centered, in the middle” will enable him to work across the aisle.”
HD-5: The Erie Times News has endorsed Dem Jason White over Republican Greg Lucas (R) for the seat of retiring Rep. John Evans (R-Erie). The paper cited White’s stronger grasp on the issues.
HD-25: Take that, Mike Doyle! He’s the Republican challenger to Rep. Joe Markosek (and not the Dem Congressman). He beat pharmacist John Yakim in the GOP primary. Now Yakim says Markosek will do a better job in Harrisburg. From the release: “I don’t always agree with Joe Markosek, but I admire his integrity and he is an independent leader who I can trust.” Yakim said he was expected to line up behind his party’s nominee, but cannot do that because the election is too important. “This November, our choice is between a proven, independent, and trustworthy leader, and somebody new.”
HD-44: The Tribune-Review checks in on the race between Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) and Dem challenger Mark Scappe. Scappe’s had a lot of buzz in recent weeks.
HD-47: The York Dispatch has endorsed Sarah Speed over incumbent Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York). “If you’re tired of waiting for ‘clout’ to possibly kick in, it might be time to ‘Speed’ things up.”
HD-60: Jo Ellen Bowman, the Dem challenging Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong), unveiled more local endorsements Wednesday: Kiskiminetas Twp Supervisor Chair Jack Wilmot, Kittanning Councilwoman Kimberly Fox, North Apollo Council President Eugene Burns, Rayburn Twp Supervisor Vice Chair Randy Slease, South Bend Supervisor Kevin Rupert and Worthington Councilman Bert Stewart.
HD-73: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat endorsed incumbent Rep. Gary Haluska (D-Cambria) over his GOP challenger Randall Wilson. “We support Haluska and urge voters in the 73rd House District to give him two more years to continue his mission,” they wrote.
HD-89: Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) didn’t attend another debate at Shippensburg University, as a result turning it into a forum for his Dem challenger Susan Spicka. The Chambersburg Public Opinion reports on the event. Kauffman has previously declined events at Ship, citing the fact that Spicka’s husband is a faculty member.
HD-93: The York Dispatch endorsed Rep. Ron Miller (R-York) for re-election – so thoroughly that they didn’t even name his Dem challenger Linda Small. “The fact is, though, Miller is getting things done in Harrisburg, more so lately since he’s setting the agenda of the House Labor and Industry committee.”
HD-95: Even though he is running for Auditor General, The York Dispatch has endorsed Eugene DePasquale for HD-95.
HD-116: Rep. Tarah Toohil has gone from being a safe incumbent to a top target in two weeks. The House Democratic Campaign Committee will air this ad about Toohil’s recent embarrassing online video scandal to the tune of $100,000.
HD-119: Now you can see both TV ads and listen to all 4 radio ads for GOP challenger Rick Arnold, who faces Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne).
HD-120: Both candidates in the race are on TV, and Gort 42 has their ads. Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne) is on broadcast, Aaron Kaufer has a cable buy.
HD-129: A mailer from Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks) accused challenger Erik Saar of being financed by Harrisburg lobbyists. Saar’s campaign responded, “Contrary to this accusation from Cox, Saar’s May 2012 showed 98.3% of his funds came from individual contributions. A report for the same time period showed Representative Cox had over $15,000 cash on hand. Records show that only $200 of that money came from individuals. For the same time period where Cox condemned Saar, he raised 98.8% of his funds from lobbyists and corporations.”
HD-151: The PA Independent looks at the race between Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montco) and Dem challenger Will Sylianteng.
HD-163: The Association of Civilian Technicians, the union of civilian National Guard workers, backed Seamus Bonner over Rep. Nick Micozzie (R-Delaware). The group also backed congressional hopeful George Badey.
HD-189: The Pocono Record has backed Dem challenger Liz Forrest over freshman incumbent Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe). “Liz Forrest has good ideas for jobs in the 189th District and will fight for all Pennsylvanians to share the economic benefit from the commonwealth’s huge natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale,” the paper’s ed board wrote.
Capitol Ideas: Montgomery County officials seek to extend absentee ballot deadlines
Capitol Ideas: Democrat Kne on air with new ad in AG race
State House Sound Bites: Poll says Obama up by four points in PA
PA Independant: GOP will likely retain majority in house, but the Democrats are trying to chip away
StateImpactPA: Where the candidates stand on climate change
Capitolwire: Election officials facing power outages in vote-rich SEPA one week before Election Day
Capitolwire: Teplitz said last week commuter tax is ‘on the table.’ This week he is leading opposition to it
Capitolwire: HDCC makes big ad buy in Toohil-Young race, highlighting drug use photo
Philly Clout: Local 98 uses video to urge members to vote for Obama
Daily News: Suddenly, prez campaigns remember Pennsylvania
Philly Clout: Obama / Romney camps cautious on post-storm politics
Philly Clout: Americans for Prosperity returns to PA television with ads
KDKA: Will superstorm Sandy distract PA voters?
Tribune Review: Region’s jobless rate rises to 7.4% as more people look for work
Tribune Review: 44th District hopefuls cite record, experience
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania may be keystone in presidential race
Tribune Review: Voters can cast ballot without photo ID this year
Tribune Review: Local polling places to cast your vote Tuesday
Tribune Review: Voters hit polls Tuesday
Tribune Review: Local polling places, hours, information listed
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Politicking a tough act to pull off in a disaster
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania laboring to fix power at polling sites
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Corbett extends deadline for absentee ballots in some counties
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Obama, Romney have bypassed Pennsylvania in advertising war — until now
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rs lead campaign finance daily reporting
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Raja gives $377k to campaign in final days
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Graphic presidential ads explained
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: PA12 leads outside $$$ nationally
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: New Smith spot features daughter
KDKA: Race Close Between Casey, Smith
North By Northwest
Sun Gazette: Deadline for absentee ballots extended until 5 p.m. today
Centre Daily: Romney faces scrutiny on aid in storm’s wake
Centre Daily: GOP hold on House looks secure, but there’s still drama
Centre Daily: Senate control teeters on a handful of states
Go Erie: Super PAC sends out super pamphlet
Go Erie: New poll: Tighter presidential race in Pa.
Carlisle Sentinel: Attorney General cautions residents about storm-related scams
AP: AG hopefuls split Lancaster newspaper endorsements
AP: Pennsylvania Attorney General candidates pick up the pace as election looms
Harrisburg Patriot News: Midstate ready for election day, but absentee ballot deadline could be extended
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pa. attorney general’s office asks court to deny voter ID opponents’ injunction request
York Daily Record: Rep. Keith Gillespie cites controversial rape language, ends co-sponsorship of bill
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: 16th District forum rescheduled
Tribune Review: Black & white standards
Tribune Review: Romney for president
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: This is the Supreme Court election: Vote on the justices the next president would choose
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: David Brooks / Romney the shape-shifter may be just what the country needs
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Haluska best choice in 73rd
Delco Daily Times: EDITORIAL: Christie, Obama putting people before politics
Pottstown Mercury: Congressional redistricting adds to voter confusion
Keystone Politics: Patriot News endorses Gene Stilp
Keystone Progress: 2012 edition of prospective voter’s guide
Liberty Blog: Unions and Bain Capitol
Liberty Blog: An economically weaker America is a militarily vulnerable America