Trying to break the decades-old tradition of Pennsylvania’s governorship changing party hands every eight years, Democrat Dan Onorato showed this week that he’s fighting tooth and nail for Ed Rendell’s job. Onorato combed Pennsylvania to discuss jobs and unemployment hammer Republican Tom Corbett on his comments that “the jobs are there” for Pennsylvania’s unemployed workers. With polls showing him down between 7 and 10 points, the campaign needs to be aggressive.
While other Republican challengers reported disappointing fundraising numbers , Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta had his best week yet in the Scranton-based 11th district. Barletta aired his first TV ad, released an internal poll (showing a double digit lead) that got good press, and out raised incumbent Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) for the quarter – you can bet all of that had the Mayor smiling.
Rather than eyeing an obscure beach in Costa Rica (or a cozy office in his new library), Sen. Arlen Specter is going out in style. This week, he flexed his Judiciary Committee muscle with a column in USA Today approving of SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan, traveled to the Middle East to participate in peace talks, and might be working on his next gig in DC, too.
Though a few Republicans posted positive fundraising totals, several (looking at you, Tom Marino (10), Dave Argall (17) and Mike Kelly(3)) challengers posted (very) disappointing numbers, dampening hopes for a GOP sweep this fall. But will their misfortune help other Republicans? You can bet GOP hopes are now even higher for Lou Barletta (11) Pat Meehan (7) and Mike Fitzpatrick (8).
Finally, this week included a good couple of days for Joe Sestak. On Tuesday, he reported fundraising numbers that, while lagging behind Toomey’s, were enough to quell financial concerns after contributions dried up badly during the months before his primary against Specter. And a day later a new poll showed the congressman tied with his Republican rival after trailing by nearly double-digits just two months earlier. Still, we’re left scratching our heads over his push to remove the Chamber of Commerce ads — why highlight the fact you voted with Nancy Pelosi only 98 percent of the time instead of 100 percent?
While MSNBC‘s Hardball host, Philadelphia native Chris Matthews was out yesterday, another Philadelphian, Michael Smerconish served as the guest host. Glad to see MSNBC keep it in the Pa. family.