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Holden’s 2010 Race Vs. 2012, in One Picture

Need proof that Rep. Tim Holden is facing a very different challenge in 2012 than he did in 2010? Look no further than his campaign ads. One was cut last cycle when he was a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning district; the other as he is a blue dog Democrat running in a liberal district.

Holden’s current district has a Partisan Voting Index of Republican+6. The new 17th district, which includes the cities of Easton, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, has a PVI of D+4.

He’d been a heavy GOP target over the past decade, but always managed to beat the numbers. Now, he’s facing a primary challenge from Lackawanna County attorney Matt Cartwright.

Cartwright campaign manager Shane Seaver criticized Holden’s latest ad, which began airing today.

“Mr. Holden claims he ‘stood with us,’” Seaver wrote. “Unfortunately Mr. Holden voted to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for the 1% in 2010, helping millionaires and corporations avoid paying their fair share.”

“Perhaps the most glaring example of Mr. Holden’s attempt at political ‘repositioning,’ is the ad’s reference to ‘the Republicans. Tim Holden’s past campaigns have never mentioned, far less criticized the G.O.P.”

The actual content of the ads aren’t that different (aside their use of the same stock footage). Both emphasize Holden’s work for military families and veterans. The latest one, however, hammers home a few more Democratic issues – like Social Security and Medicare.

Holden’s campaign defended the spot, and swung back at the Cartwright campaign.

“Tim Holden has consistently represented the values of the hard-working men and women in this country, no matter what the party breakdown of his district happens to be,” said Holden campaign manager Eric Nagy. “Whether it was protecting American jobs by voting against NAFTA or standing up for organized labor by maintaining a 92% lifetime AFL-CIO voting record throughout his career, Tim Holden has been a fierce advocate for American workers.”

“Frankly, I don’t think the Cartwright campaign is winning over the hearts and minds of Democratic voters by constantly attacking a fellow Democratic Congressman.  The multitude of local and county Democratic committee (or as Cartwright would call them, “rank and file“) endorsements, Tim Holden has received, prove that Democrats aren’t buying our opponent’s rhetoric.”

From 2012:

From 2010:

7 Responses

  1. TNardi-
    1) We KNOW Sestak lost.
    2) If you followed the election at all, you saw that Sestak ran far to the Left for the Primary, and conceded the center to Toomey. (by failing to pivot back to the center and by failing to call out Toomey’s right-wing extremism).
    3) Specter had YEARS of opposition research on Toomey and the two virtually tied in 2006 GOP Primary. Specter would have significant advantage in a General against Toomey, since Specter was already positioned in the center.
    4) My point (which you failed to grasp) was that having Specter lose still would have cost Dems $15-$20 million less, by avoiding the primary.
    5) Sestak has $4 million cash-on-hand for reelection. Meehan would never have even bothered to run against Sestak. (Meehan and 10 other potential GOP candidates ran away from the chance in 2008.) But beyond that, Sestak had huge support in his district as well as a much larger/mature organization compared to Lentz. (Lentz campaign was further hurt by the drain of workers to the Sestak senate campaign.)

  2. Diano,

    Show me a poll that showed Specter beating Toomey — or even coming as close on election night as Sestak did. And given the drubbing that Lentz got in PA-07, I don’t think it was a lock that Sestak would have held on in his congressional district.

  3. Curt-
    Are you one of the pathetic people that enjoyed watching Sestak piss away $15-$20 million for a loss while also hurting the ticket statewide?

    Even if you believe that Toomey could have beaten Specter (a questionable belief), we could have gotten that same result for $15-$20 million less if Sestak had run to hold his congressional seat.

  4. I am still shocked that they mention nafta. That was almost 20 years ago. It sounds like he is in trouble because he hasn’t done anything with the Democrats.

  5. One of the photos is a mirror image. Look at the name tag and pen at the shirt pocket of the guy with Holden.

    I guess when you are a two-faced politician – it doesn’t matter.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
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    • Makes No Difference (30%)

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