PA-Sen: Politico Handicaps 2016 Senate Race
This is the view of Kyle Cheney of Politico, who wrote an in-depth analysis of the sixteen most competitive Senate races in 2016. Sen. Toomey’s bid for re-election made the list.
“Conventional wisdom says Toomey’s in trouble,” Cheney writes. “He’s a freshman senator who squeaked to victory in 2010 — a banner year for Republicans — up for reelection in a presidential election year in a state that’s gone to Democrats in every presidential cycle since 1988.”
A big factor in Toomey’s favor, however, is the splintered nature of the Democratic opposition.
“But Democrats don’t have much of a Senate-ready bench, and their best candidates seem poised to sit out the cycle,” Cheney continues. “The party will likely grit its teeth through a rematch between Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak.”
Many Democrats who might have jumped in are taking a pass including Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Katie McGinty (who will be Gov-Elect Tom Wolf’s Chief of Staff) and Joe Torsella, who is opting for a race for Treasurer instead.
The only major threat to Sestak at this point is Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro but Cheney isn’t sure he’ll join the contest either.
“The best bet for Democrats appears to be Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, a young up-and-coming star that many in the party feel will sit out the Senate race in favor of a steady climb toward the governorship — with a possible pit stop as attorney general.”