Cook Political Report Moves Senate to “Lean Democrat”

John Fetterman selfie

The Cook Political Report has shifted its position on the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Democrat.”

Jessica Taylor writes “Nightmares of Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are taunting Republican lawmakers and Senate strategists as fears grow that this midterm cycle could be 2010 and 2012 all over again.”

In the most recent poll from Public Opinion Strategies, Democrat John Fetterman has an 18-point advantage over GOP opponent Mehmet Oz, 51-33. Taylor writes “that feels far too large given the makeup of the state.”

“The current FiveThirtyEight average gives Fetterman a nearly 11 point average lead over Oz, but in a state so closely divided, neither party expects that will be the final margin, and we don’t either. But Fetterman — even as he’s also spent months off the trail recovering — has cemented a consistent enough lead, in both private and public polling, that we feel it justifies a new distinction that shows the lieutenant governor with the advantage. Plus, given how polarizing Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano is, the rest of the statewide ticket doesn’t help Oz.”

Democratic candidate for governor Josh Shapiro holds a 15-point lead (50-35) over Mastriano in the same POS poll.

“There is a case to be made at this juncture, given how well-known Oz already is — and subsequently disliked — that even if the TV host and Republicans are able to relentlessly attack Fetterman and bring down the Democrats’ numbers, that rehabilitating Oz’s image will be beyond difficult,” Taylor suggests.

Still, the historic headwinds facing the Democrats as the party in the White House during midterms are strong. The Keystone State, though, continues to prove its stature as a swing state.

“We are shifting this race from our Toss Up column to Lean Democrat — though it’s not out of the question that this could move back as the election nears.”

“If you had asked us before primaries began in earnest in early May, we put the odds that Republicans would flip the Senate at more than 60 percent, with a gain of as many as four seats possible. Right now, the range we see is between Democrats picking up one seat and Republicans gaining three. However, the most probable for now may be a net change of zero or a GOP pickup of one to two.”

3 Responses

  1. The senate seat is important, but voters MUST keep Ding Dong Doug, The Insurrectionist, out of the Governor’s office.

  2. R’s losing AZ, trailing Ohio, trailing NC and bumpy in FL…2 pick ups? For Cook to reluctantly write off OZ and absolutely blame Sen Doug says PA is nearing lost cause status. Mastriano is a disaster and Cook is right he is dragging Oz down.

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