Things are heating up and it finally feels like campaign season (despite a lack of TV ads). Here’s our take on who had a good week… and who didn’t.
Voter ID Opponents. Critics of Pa.’s new Voter ID law won a preliminary victory this week when the Pa. Supreme Court booted the case back down to a lower court. Why is this a win, when the law’s critics wanted an injunction right away? Because all 6 Supremes – even the 3 Republicans – signed on to a ruling that prioritizes the practical availability of ID for voters who currently lack it. That’s the crux of the critics’ case, and it means that the Supremes are predisposed to a preliminary injunction. However, anyone who hope Pa. will never ever have an ID requirement are in for disappointment. It looks like no matter what, the law will be in effect by the 2014 election.
Tom Corbett. The Guv had a rocky week. It started out last Friday when GOP super donor Scott Wagner unleashed a blistering op-ed which said in part, “Tom Corbett is not a leader. Pennsylvania has a weak CEO in Tom Corbett.” Ouch. He also hinted that Corbett may face a GOP primary challenge in 2014. Then a Morning Call/Muhlenberg poll came out showing the Guv’s job approval mired at 30 percent positive, 46 percent negative. And to top it all off, his recent town hall in Philly turned to chaos and was ended early due to unruly protesters angry about education cuts (though kudos to him for staying cool as a cucumber).
John Maher. The Auditor General candidate and state Rep. (R-Allegheny) won the first newspaper endorsement of the season from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The paper had kind words for his opponent, state Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-York) as well. See them both square off tonight at a candidates debate live on PCN tonight at 7pm.
Dave Freed. Politicians have been skirting the “no fundraisers at Beaver Stadium” rule since it was enacted, but this week the Republican Attorney General hopeful got flagged. his campaign says he’s not technically in violation of the rules because it only suggested that supporters contribute $500 per couple.
Incumbents. Reps. Mark Critz (D-Cambria), Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) and Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny) all saw their re-election odds get upgraded this week. Nationally respected elections handicapper Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia moved Critz’s race from toss-up to lean Dem and Meehan’s from likely GOP to safe GOP. Meanwhile, the Cook Political Report promoted Murphy’s from likely GOP to safe GOP.
Tweet of the Week
Congratulations to Colby Itkowitz of the Morning Call. Her lament about the sad state of Pa.’s swing state status wins the week.
Battleground Pennsylvania gets visits from Romney’s son and FLOTUS’ brother this week. Next week: Biden’s next door neighbor.
— Colby Itkowitz (@DCMorningCall) September 21, 2012
Facebook Post of the Week
This is a no-brainer. Congratulations to Rep. Jesse White (D-Washington) on your wedding!