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No enthusiasm gap in Pennsylvania

There is no enthusiasm gap in Pennsylvania. In an election year characterized by a Democratic enthusiasm gap and despite being significantly outspent, U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak has defied the conventional wisdom and erased the gap with his rival.  With a 1.2 million Democratic voter registration advantage and enthusiasm building on our side, Joe Sestak is well-positioned to be the next United States Senator from Pennsylvania.

Polls across the spectrum show a statistical dead heat, including many surveys with extremely high Republican sampling that is very atypical of Pennsylvania.  This polling reflects increasing voter awareness about Congressman Toomey’s record of extremism. The Philadelphia Inquirer concludes that “Toomey, having done his part for party purity, now asks independent voters to believe he can be bipartisan in Washington. The chances for that seem remote, at best.”  [10/24/10]

Joe has received an overwhelming 18 newspaper endorsements, including from papers in every media market. Newspapers in big and small communities across the state understand that Pat Toomey is simply too extreme for Pennsylvania.

Known as a “closer” (“a horse with a down-the-stretch finishing kick” – Philadelphia Daily News,10/25/10) from his previous campaigns against Congressman Weldon and Senator Specter, Joe has continued in that tradition, reaching out to thousands of voters in the past several weeks, including 17 events scheduled today alone.

We also have an aggressive “Get-Out-The-Vote” (“GOTV”) effort which includes:25 offices state-wide with hundreds of staging areas30,000 phone calls a day, 7 days a week20,000 pieces of literature distributed every day20,000 volunteersOver the weekend, the campaign made over 240,000 phone calls and voter contacts. We have distributed well over 400,000 pieces of literature door-to-door in Philadelphia alone.  This effort is on top of the coordinated campaign operation, known as “PA Vote 2010,” which has:23 offices around the state13,000 volunteers1.5 million door knocks [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/29/10]We have also raised more money online than any other Democratic candidate on Act Blue, with 44,000 donors and an average contribution of $86.  [Act Blue website]  There is no enthusiasm gap here.

Democrats are far more energized to vote than has been reported. Our field team, which has been operating seven days a week throughout the summer and fall, is picking up stronger-than-expected turnout. This confirms what has previously been reported in the press as an under-sampling of Democratic enthusiasm due to pollsters being unable to reach cell-phone only voters.

Moreover,  African Americans are far more energized than polling reflects. “A major survey conducted by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University found that 80 percent of black Democrats are as interested or more interested in the midterms than they were in the 2008 presidential election, when their enthusiasm helped propel Barack Obama into office. [Washington Post, 10/14/10]

Enthusiasm is also reflected in the sizable crowds greeting Joe at stops across the state.  Last weekend, enthusiastic crowds came out on college campuses to greet Joe and President Clinton. This stands in stark contrast to his opponent’s events.  As Fox 29 reported from a Toomey event today: “…not a lot of excitement in there, some balloons, some red and white pom poms, but not super excited for a guy who could be the most powerful person in the state and the guy who could be the next senator one of 100 senators in this country. So, a little surprising this morning.”  [Fox 29 Philadelphia, 11/1/10]

Republicans who have been eager to keep down voter turnout have been hoping for rain, but it will be a sunny day throughout Pennsylvania tomorrow … and for our campaign!

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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