PA-Sen: Politico Handicaps 2016 Senate Race

Pat ToomeySenator Pat Toomey could be in trouble, but only if Democrats can coalesce around a candidate.

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.”

December 29th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Senate, Top Stories | 43 Comments

43 thoughts on “PA-Sen: Politico Handicaps 2016 Senate Race”

  1. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Sklaroff

    ‘You should please report-in the results of these delayed tests or admit that you didn’t get them’. Sure thing Robert. Matter of fact just to give you an update Highmark just denied my doctors request so he has to appeal it. (If he’s going to do so, I don’t know). In the meantime I continue to suffer in serious pain. Now tell me and the rest of the audience on here why should I have to continue to wait until some jerk like you and your AMA buddies who set up this god for saken sick system of making money off of sick people decide when or how it’s best for me to receive care in your for-profit system and why a single payer system wouldn’t be better? I’m all ears. Furthermore…I could care less about your bragging of what you so-called did with mergers and such and who else happens to praise you in your hapless efforts. You’re a complete fraud.

    @the doctor is in

    Absolutely the AMA supported the ACA. You still get to make money. Or isn’t it enough for you as it was before the law went into effect? You know about my reputation? Really? Please tell us! On second thought, if you had hindsight you wouldn’t be attempting to practice medicine or even engage with the working poor as you have no experience with both.

    P.S. I just love how the two of you come on here and attempt to explain how the world hasn’t given the either of you a fair shake at life.

  2. the Dr. is in says:

    Liberal Lion, the AMA supported Obamacare, if you recall. When your facts are 100% provably false, it’s difficult to take anything else you say seriously. In hindsight I should have recognized your reputation and just not engaged.

  3. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ New_Liberal_Lion:

    After you misapprehended my [non-]involvement with the AMA [which acquiesced to ObamaDon’tCare, BTW], you claimed you’ve “been waiting for two [MRI] tests since 2006; now that you “finally have healthcare,” you should please report-in the results of these delayed-tests [or admit that you didn’t get them, despite having unabashedly praised BHO’s boondoggle].

    My litigation experience is an extension of my efforts to truth-tell in whatever realm is being ignored, including a decade-long [mostly-solo] battle to split Highmark back to PBS and Blue Cross of Western-Pa; I do not apologize for it, for many physicians [including anti-tobacco activists] have praised me for it.

    I care not for your vocabulary, let alone your content; your foul-comments should not be glorified by an elaborative response, as a result.

  4. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Sklaroff

    P.S. For the first time in my life along with 10 million others, I finally have healthcare on my own. Be sure your wonderful heritage foundation can take note since you have them to thank. They love Obama Does Care and you should too! Be sure to get up on the stand and lie some more in court about your fellow colleagues. 🙂

  5. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Sklaroff

    Why don’t you tell us all here about your GOP Proposals since they’ve only had 100 years since Teddy Roosevelt to pass something. Furthermore you miss the whole point (as usual) about your wonderful A.M.A. friends.

    Also…trying to sound intelligent by using words like ‘uncouth’ doesn’t put you in a better class than the rest of us. It puts you on a pedestal where everyone on here gets to continue to giggle their ass off at you and your pointless ramblings.

  6. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ New_Liberal_Lion:

    P.S. – Illustrating how delinked you are from reality and knowledge, know that I’ve not been an AMA member since 2000.

  7. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ New_Liberal_Lion:

    As uncouth as you are, merely search-out the GOP’s proposals for further info about alternatives to ObamaDon’tCare.

  8. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Sklaroff
    You still haven’t given any proposals. It’s one thing to say why you support something, but tell us why. Why is making money off of someone’s sickness good for humanity?

    @the Doctor is in
    I don’t know how you are getting at comparing the cost of M.R.I.’s to cable and cell phone bills. They don’t even come close. I’ve been waiting for two tests since 2006. Without insurance it costs over $5000 for both. Maybe your not following my point closely. No one should have to wait for any amount of time to get proper diagnosis and treatment just like the whole frickin country shouldn’t have to wait for over a hundred years just to get a little bit of regulation passed to reign in the policies and greed that jerks like Sklaroff and all his A.M.A. Buddies support. Don’t talk to me about ‘prioritizing’. People have died waiting for Republicans to get their act together. They have no intention of helping people suffering in any class. You can see how your colleague can’t answer me. You yourself hasn’t done any better.

  9. David Diano says:

    Robert-

    It’s not a question of your ears, but rather Sestak’s lying mouth.

  10. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    You are asking that I distrust my “lying ears”; with all due respect, noting that your focus is upon one vote which you obviously vividly recall, Sestak’s oeuvre is assuredly-lib…and you would be well-advised to inquire as to his publicly-stated rationale for having betrayed your trust.

  11. Unsanctioned R says:

    Toomey[-Manchin] is the only viable liberal option for Democrat voters in this race.

  12. David Diano says:

    Robert
    Sestak LIED at Rosemont to get the peace vote, then he completely abandoned them. They can’t stand him.

    The correct vote was to vote against the second version of the bill as well. We called his congressional office to urge him to vote against the bill, but to no avail. His vote was a complete betrayal of his repeated campaign promises. You are a fool to base your belief on the lies he told at Rosemont.

    Sestak is no liberal. He’s not even a democrat, but rather a carpet-bagging imposter running on the Dem ticket.

  13. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    I don’t recall multiple votes but, regardless, this bill passed and, thus, anything he might have wanted to change within it, couldn’t have been accomplished.

    “3) The funding was not so critical that more time couldn’t have been spent making the bill better.” Therefore, as I noted earlier, he had to deal with the bill, not what he might have amended it to be.

    Again, he was not a hawk, per every sentence he uttered @ Rosemont a decade ago; he probably wasn’t as dovish as you’d like but, regardless, he fits well into most of the Dem-narrative.

  14. David Diano says:

    Robert-

    Wrong (as usual). The bill Sestak voted on was the second bill. The first bill (which a majority of Dems supported) failed to pass. This second bill (which the majority of Dems opposed) did pass, with Sestak’s approving vote.

    As Sestak was the “highest ranking military person” to serve in Congress, he should have been a point-man on opposing the second bill, not voting for it and repeating GOP talking points to justify his vote.

    Don’t you get it? Joe’s a hawk who likes a lot of military intervention and not a lot of military oversight.

  15. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    [Noting the uncouth-lingo used when posing questions, I will simply adopt-by-reference the subsequent reply.]

  16. the Dr. is in says:

    How much is your MRI? Have you price shopped? Most are $1,000-$2,000. Average Cell bill $100/month. Average Cable bill $100/month. MRI’s are scarce but you shouldn’t need to wait if you prioritize your budget. You could even pay for it tax free if you have an HSA or FSA. Without our system that protects property rights, the next imaging technology will never be developed and, possibly, MRI may not even exist (certainly not at the relatively low price they do today).

    What we’ve learned from Obamacare is that insurance does not equal access. The health insurers have certainly made out, but Obamacare has bent the cost curve up in most states: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/10/23/now-there-can-be-no-doubt-obamacare-will-increase-non-group-premiums-in-nearly-all-states/

  17. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Sklaroff
    Same old GOP Proposals. Let’s cross state lines everybody! How on earth is one state going to have super-better healthcare than the other? Where is the fairness with commerce there? You still have answered my questions. If Romney was president you would be praising Massachusetts RomneyCare right now. Because that’s exactly what it is. White upper middle class guys like yourself can’t stand having a black president at the moment and you better get used to it because we are going to have more.

    Now tell me why I should have to wait eight years to get an M.R.I.? Let’s hear your reasoning.

  18. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    As usual, you elide over facts; there was only one vote on this issue @ that time and, thus, the following is erroneous:

    “3) The funding was not so critical that more time couldn’t have been spent making the bill better.”

    Therefore, as I noted earlier, he had to deal with the bill, not what he might have amended it to be.

  19. David Diano says:

    Robert
    1) he voted for a bill that he claimed was not viable

    2) he broke his promise to stand up to Bush unless the bill had accountability

    3) The funding was not so critical that more time couldn’t have been spent making the bill better

    4) Sestak was not the deciding vote, and he could/should have voted with the majority of Dems, especially since he claimed it wasn’t viable

    5) he just plain lied to us that he didn’t support Bush on Iraq, when he clearly did support the war there.

  20. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    As you know, one cannot always vote for the ideal bill; he registered his objections [on the floor and @ C-SPAN] and voted for the priority consideration.

    Your other assertions [minus JobGate] cry for documentation, your alleged expertise; otherwise, it’s just you yelping, again.

  21. David Diano says:

    Robert-
    In May 2007, when Sestak voted for the Iraq War funding, it did not contain timetables. Sestak voted for it. In his floor speech, he said that he believed timetables were “the only viable option”. Therefore, he voted for something that he said he did not believe was viable.

    Sestak’s a hypocrite. During the 2006 campaign, he called for withdrawal by the end the year, but once he got elected he resisted all efforts at a speedy withdrawal, and started talking about how it would take years to move and pack up all the tanks and equipment.

    But, Sestak is saying he “supports” the president, but then undermines him on the policy. Sestak doesn’t like Obama since Obama supported Specter and Obama doesn’t like Sestak for that job-gate nonsense he pulled.

  22. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ New_Liberal_Lion:

    I support the GOP’s proposals regarding, for example, the capacity for interstate competition to be promulgated; because you are using such vile lingo, you are simply referred to other facets thereof (which can easily be ID’ed via the Internet).

  23. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    Primary data [not spun]:

    c-span.org/video/?290380-4/representative-sestak-afghanistan-strategy

    GUEST: THE ONE ISSUE THE I WISH THE PRESIDENT WOULD HAVE ADDRESSED IS THE BENCHMARKS TO MEASURE SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

    {reasonable, eh?}

    I AM IN SUPPORT OF THE PRESIDENT….I AM AGAINST WAR, BUT THIS TIME, I BELIEVE WE WERE ATTACKED. WE MUST FINISH THE JOB THAT PRESIDENT BUSH LEFT UNDONE.

    {Also, irrefutable.}

    YOU NEED BOOTS ON THE GROUND TO MOVE THE TERRORISTS AND MAKE THEM MAKE A MISTAKE SO WE CAN PICK UP AND GET THEM. YOU CANNOT DO THAT FROM A DISTANCE.

    {This simple observation reflects how BHO erred in Iraq, and the price being paid to recoup lost land, $, death, disability; it also reflects why he’s keeping thousands in Afghanistan.}

    HE’S MAKING THIS DECISION HERE REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES, BUT IS RIGHT FOR THIS NATION. I DID NOT AGREE WITH THAT IN IRAQ BECAUSE WE BROUGHT AL-QAEDA FROM IRAQ. I BELIEVE THAT THE LEADERS OF THE DAMAGE US IS THERE AND WE MUST ERADICATE THE THREAT.

    {Although I disagree vis-à-vis Iraq, he’s unambiguous regarding Afghanistan; in the process, he gently refutes those who would try to allow perps of 9-11 to go scot-free.}

    I WISH THAT A DEFINITIVE TIMETABLE TO WITHDRAW HAVE NOT BEEN PLACED. I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS AS MUCH TO DO WITH THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN AND HAVING THEM STEPPED TO THE PLATE. WE CANNOT PUT OUR SECURITY IN THEIR HANDS IT IS AL-QAEDA IN PAKISTAN. WHAT I WISH HE WOULD HAVE DONE, TO LET EVERYONE KNOW THIS IS NOT AN OPEN-ENDED COMMITMENT, WAS EMPHASIZED THE PART OF THE SPEECH WHERE HE SAYS CONDITIONS ON THE GROUND WILL BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.

    {He doesn’t like a strict timetable without recognition of the assessment by the military of what’s happening on the ground, particularly as it relates to Pakistan; this is also a reasonable disclaimer that has actually animated BHO’s behavior.}

    Therefore, find a quote from his campaign wherein he did NOT append this disclaimer to the “timetable” claim, and then you can charge him with hypocrisy; otherwise, he invoked his knowledge, training and experience CORRECTLY with regard to what’s happening in that theater.

  24. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Sklaroff Can you explain your solution for healthcare in this country since you don’t know what your talking about and can you explain why I have to wait about eight frickin years to an M.R.I.? Your ignorance is truly amazing! You got your marketplace expansion you selfish jerk, now why can’t you be happy with that? Are you sad as a human being that 10 million more
    people now have healthcare in this country? Let’s hear your proposals! I can guarantee you that you don’t have any. How about you take your own stethoscope and shove it up your rear and try to find some clues! Jerks like you want more wars more suffering all in the name of profit and greed. Is that why you became a doctor? For profit or for helping people? Because you fail the test at both.

  25. David Diano says:

    Robert-
    Sestak voted with Bush on Iraq War funding, TWICE, without any of the pre-conditions he claimed he would require during the campaign.
    The peace movement that he courted during the campaign picketed his offices when he broke his promises.

    Also, Sestak supported warrantless wiretaps and telecom immunity.

    He hasn’t supported Obama on cable TV. A few years ago when Obama announced a timetable for pulling out of Afghanistan, Sestak criticized Obama and the use of timetables (despite “timetables” being the core of Sestak’s 2006 campaign). Sestak has been undermining Obama on foreign policy nearly every chance he’s had.

  26. Robert Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @DD:

    You have returned to being 100percent incorrect.

    Sestak did not vote With gop house and I disagreed with all his pacifist foreign policy statements when he spoke at Rosemont years ago. Also, I nailed him for ignorance of Obama Don’t Care @ a town hall in Del.Co.; finally, his cable news comments have uniformly supported bho.

    Dislike him for whatever reason …but not for having strayed from dem orthodoxy.

  27. David Diano says:

    Rabbenmahl-

    Sestak is not formidable without enough cash. His fundraising has bottomed out the past two quarters with no gains. I don’t expect this latest quarter to be much different.

    Sestak would like to “clear the field” and avoid a primary fight he can’t win against anyone with decent ability, credentials and fundraising.

    I don’t think Josh is waiting around to run for Gov because the baseline assumption would be Wolf for 8 years and Mike Stack would run for Gov in 2022.

    If Josh can jump in and raise a lot of money early, he will take out Sestak quickly. Sestak will not be viewed as viable if Josh outstrips him in a few months, despite Joe having a two year head start on fundraising.

  28. David Diano says:

    Robert
    No. He PRETENDS to be liberal. He makes a few party line votes, but he doesn’t actually take the lead (nor understand) progressive issues. He’s a Nixon/Reagan/Bush republican who ran as a Dem because that’s where the opening was. If he didn’t run against Toomey, he would likely have voted for him. He probably voted for Specter over the Dem opponents as well.

    Sestak has no actual political beliefs of his own (besides being a war hawk). Every belief he espouses is merely what he thinks people want to hear to get himself elected. He would happily spout conservative mantras and talking points if it would help him get elected.

    ALL he cares about is having a fancy title next to his name and the power to abuse as large a staff as possible.

  29. Robert Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    Sestak. Not extremely lib in your view but very lib to most

  30. David Diano says:

    Robert-
    Joe is not a progressive. I go to the PA Progressive Summit all the time. They laugh when Sestak is referred to as progressive. He parrots progressive talking points, but no one thinks he sincerely believes any of them, and they consider him a total fraud.

    He treats his workers like crap, and does not believe in paying minimum wage or fair wages. He’s against single-payer. He was 100% in for the Iraq War and funding it without timetables or accountability (despite campaign promises to the contrary). While he’ll go along with Dem votes on key issues, he’s a follower, not a leader, only looking to shore up his base.

    As for Toomey, he’s a conservative in that he’s for helping the 1% dodge their taxes even more and supporting more wealth for Wall Street.

  31. Robert Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    Joe is a progressive;I truly hate to return to disagreeing with you. You may or may not be “blinded,” but you cannot base putative support for Josh on policy.

  32. Robert Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ rabbenmahl:

    As your know, it’s impossible to query Arlen but it can be conceded he WAS formidable; having “almost won,” he lost. As much as I despise bho’s leftie policies that Josh appears to have championed … and not repudiated
    … he’s not anathema to the party.

    @ AntiProgressive:

    As a tea-partiers, I agree with you on the issues; nevertheless, he will enjoy strong overall gop support. I only hope he won’t endorse one of the establishment potus-candidates.

  33. David Diano says:

    No one thinks Toomey is progressive. And no one with a brain thinks Sestak is a progressive.

  34. TheAntiProgressive says:

    Me thinks Mr. Toomey who was out front on gun control and voted for the latest Omnibus spending bill and bank bailout program regarding 300 Trillion in derivatives will have a much more difficult time with Conservative supporters than many suspect. He campaigned as a Conservative and votes like a Progressive. People don’t forget this stuff.

  35. Rabbenmahl says:

    DD you’re blinded by your hatred of Sestak. Comparing Schwartz to Sestak is apples and oranges. Sestak already ran for the seat last time and nearly won. Schwartz hadn’t run for governor prior to 2014. As a former rear admiral, congressman and guy who hustles his ass off, Sestak is formidable no matter how much you hate him. Just ask Arlen Specter. You should be ashamed of yourself for putting your personal ego before your progressive values. I am sure Toomey and his right-wing followers appreciate you shooting your own team in the back though.

  36. Jim says:

    I’ve said this numerous times on this site. Sestak cannot beat Toomey. Toomey goes to bed at night praying that Sestak is the Democratic nominee.

  37. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    Say it ain’t so; I agree with you!

  38. David Diano says:

    Jim-
    No. He doesn’t. He lives with his wife and daughter in Alexandria, VA. Joe’s just a tourist in PA and owns a house here that is worth about half the value of his real home in VA. BTW, in Oct 2010, during election, Joe got a building permit for expansion of his house in Alexandria. One would assume he was counting his chickens before they hatched and prematurely building a home-office for his expected Senate career.

    Rabbenmahl- Your assumption/prediction is wrong:
    “It is possible that Shapiro could beat Sestak in a primary, but it would be a Pyrrhic victory as he would come out of the primary flat broke and bloodied to a pulp, and Josh knows it.”

    Joe is trying to pull an “Allyson Schwartz” move and prevent any challengers, because his own candidacy is so weak.

    However, even a cursory look at Sestak’s fundraising shows that it is anemic. In the last two reporting quarters, Sestak’s cash-on-hand remained unchanged. He spent as much as he took in (and neither amount was large ~ $100K)

    Sestak was able to challenge Specter, because he transferred $4.5 million from his congressional campaign account. This time around, Sestak has fewer resources. A few hundred thousand of his cash-on-hand is already earmarked for the general election. So, effectively, Sestak has less than a million for the primary.

    Shapiro could raise that in one quarter and bankrupt Sestak. This is especially true because Sestak currently has no competition for Dem $$$ for this race. Once Shapiro announces, Sestak’s fundraising will dry up even faster.

    Sestak would simply be unable to get on the air long enough, because he’ll be out of money faster than you can say: “created a poor command climate”.

    Shapiro would steam-roll him.

  39. jim says:

    Does Joe Sestak even live in PA?

  40. steventodd says:

    Allyson Schwartz should run. She would be formidable.

    Who in the heck is Joe Torsella?

  41. Robert Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    Again, although I am a republican … I must dispute this formulation.

    Josh can $-raise and Will tout a good record … that would justify re-election.

    S e s t a k has baggage and a leftie foreign policy; as much as I have attacked Josh for ignoring Iran during the past half-decade, he would be preferable.

    The result would be a “clean fight” devoid of personal attacks.

  42. Rabbenmahl says:

    Josh Shapiro is not running for the Senate. He isn’t a fool, he knows Sestak is going to go balls out and has better name i.d. statewide and a huge head start in grassroots politicking. It is possible that Shapiro could beat Sestak in a primary, but it would be a Pyrrhic victory as he would come out of the primary flat broke and bloodied to a pulp, and Josh knows it. You will see a Toomey vs. Sestak rematch, and the outcome is anyone’s guess. With Hillary on the ticket in a presidential year, you have to imagine Sestak is a slight favorite. Toomey is anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-labor, and pro-Wall Street. Good luck with that.

  43. Ready for Josh Shapiro says:

    POLITICO: “The best bet for Democrats appears to be Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro.”

    Like us at Facebook.com/ReadyforJoshShapiro

    https://www.facebook.com/ReadyforJoshShapiro

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