PA-Sen: Could Trump Hurt Toomey?

trumpThe Iowa caucuses are just one week away.

That means the presidential campaign tsunami is nearly upon us. The question is, will the race for the White House overwhelm the down ballot races?

In that vein, Marc Levy of the Associated Press examined whether the nomination of Donald Trump would hurt Pat Toomey’s attempt to win a second term in the Senate.

“There are some people running for president, like Mr. Trump, who I think would continue a demographic slide that would make it hard for us to win and us to hold the Senate,” Lindsey Graham stated earlier this month at the PA GOP’s winter meeting.

“You’re held captive to the [party’s presidential nominee] if you’re running down-ballot,” Muhlenberg College political science professor Christopher Borick told Levy. “I’m sure the Toomey campaign thinks about that night and day.”

The belief is that if the party chooses an insurgent candidate (like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz) over an establishment candidate (like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush) they’ll lose the presidential race in a landslide that will have ramifications all the way down the ballot.

Political observers always point to the Republicans’ 1964 nomination of Barry Goldwater and the Democrats’ 1972 nomination of George McGovern as examples where the party’s base took over only to get destroyed in the general election. While it true that both Goldwater and McGovern lost by historic proportions, there is little evidence that those defeats decimated the party’s congressional ranks.

In 1964, the Republicans did lose 37 seats in the House but lost only two in the Senate and they didn’t have the majority anyway. Furthermore, in 1972 the Democrats lost thirteen House seats but didn’t lose their majority. In fact, they added to their advantage in the Senate by winning a net of two seats.

That was decades ago, though, and it remains to be seen if in this increasingly polarized era voters will decide based on candidates or parties. The Republicans seem to be betting on the former.

The Democrats cannot win the United States Senate without beating Pat Toomey,” PA GOP Chair Rob Gleason asserted.

As for the man himself, he is keeping his eyes focused squarely ahead.

“I try to make it a point not to worry about things I can’t control,” Sen. Toomey concluded.

12 Responses

  1. The Corbett controlled Penn State Bd of trustees was pressured to name a nice minority lady lawyer–with absolutely NO criminal law experience — to be Penn State’s counsel during the biggest most expensive most important criminal case in Penn State History. what an absurd move ! Baldwin was handed Supreme Ct justice ‘to become the first black woman appointee’ only on condition she would not run. (She could not have won if she’d run. she was not an impressive family law judge; her deliberative skills were non existent. she dragged cases on for months. )Then she was handed Chief Counsel to penn State– having never served as private counsel to any corporation or university. even with such total inexperience, the Canons of Ethics and Rules of Professional responsibility define one’s obligations to clients, and one’s conduct of ‘truthfulness to the tribunal’ . too bad no one in charge of the Sandusky et. al. investigations bothered to read them — including Baldwin and Fina.

    There are certainly grounds for Fina and Baldwin to both be the subjects of Disciplinary Board investigations. whether that happens remains to be seen, since charges against rich and powerful Supreme Court justices don’t seem to be prosecuted with much vigor these days..

  2. The “big surprise”, hahaha (and I don’t mean your name), is that Cynthia Baldwin screwed up another case and probably committed (another) ethics violation which nobody will do anything about. Just like they never did anything about her when she was unethically judging in Family Division of Allegheny County.

  3. DD – You see that the perjury counts in the Penn State case were tossed out? Court found Frank Fina’s conduct “highly improper.”

    On Penn Live, you even have Clown Car shills bragging about how the defendants have already been “convicted in the court of public opinion.” Right out of the Playbook!!

  4. Toomey’s “moderate” votes aren’t going to cost him right wing votes, as they aren’t going to vote for the Dem. But, these votes are designed to fool moderates as to Toomey’s real hard-right leanings.

    Toomey’s danger is mild. His chance of reelection drops from 90% to 70% in a presidential year with high Dem turnout. To win, the Dems need a top-notch candidate, with ample resources, and a message that resonates (not just reciting Dem talking points). The ideal candidate can tell a compelling story to connect with voters, and breakdown/deconstruct Toomey and right-wing orthodoxy. Imagine a candidate who could speak as compellingly as Bill Clinton and explain the stakes.

  5. Bama — if Toomey is that unpalatable to diehard Repubs like you, why isn’t there anybody running against him in the primary? I’ve seen countless posts here from Repubs who dislike Toomey for this and that, but nobody seems so dismayed that they want to mount a primary challenge. Seems to me that it’s all so much hot air until somebody actually does something about it.

  6. As a Trump hating Republican this is not a scenario I welcome. However, it’s not entirely clear what type of support Trump would have in a general. Any suggestion that Trump represents the “base” is profoundly ignorant. Trump’s support is substantially moderate R’s and Dems.

  7. Toomey is an electoral train wreck of his own making, it really doesn’t matter who the presidential nominee is. For instance Toomey has said “gun control means two hands on the weapon”, shocking every moderate in the state, to siding with Chuck Shumer to impose new gun regulations, which pissed off every gun clinger in the state. His approach has been implied to other issues as well. Calls himself pro-life, but he supported Sonia Sotomayor. Oops. Couple this with his record of being Wall Street’s lackey in the Senate, supporting tax breaks for corporate transnationals to send jobs to China, and you have an incumbent headed for defeat.

  8. Toomey will get a smack-down from any D.

    What’s better — One-Term-Patty? Or One-Term-Toomey?

  • Reader Poll: Who Should the GOP Nominate for Governor?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen