PA-Sen: Why is Toomey Falling as Portman Rises?
They both represent neighboring swing states in the Senate. They are both fiscal conservatives with long careers in government. Finally, they were both elected to the Senate in 2010 and thus face their re-election battles this year.
You may believe that the disparity is the result of Donald Trump dragging down the ticket but that’s only half the answer. The other half concerns those that are being alienated by the GOP presidential nominee, namely whites with a college degree.
To understand why this makes such a difference you have to know about the demographic differences between Ohio and Pennsylvania. For instance, Ohio has more black voters although PA has more Hispanics. The key factor, though, is education.
Check out this chart from the Cook Political Report:
Pennsylvania has significantly more college educated whites than Ohio does. As a result, according to the RealClearPolitics average, Clinton’s lead in the Keystone State is 9.2% while her advantage in the Buckeye State is just 4.8%.
Ultimately, Sen. Toomey will have to target the college educated voters in PA’s Acela corridor in order to win his second term.