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PA-Sen: Why is Toomey Falling as Portman Rises?

Portman-ToomeyPat Toomey and Rob Portman are a lot alike.

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.

Despite all that, though, Rob Portman is pulling ahead while Pat Toomey falls behind.

Why is this? Both incumbents are spending enough money and neither of their opponents have run error free campaigns.

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.

As others have noted, this demographic has traditionally gone Republican but appears ready to turn blue for the first time in the polling era.

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:

Cook Chart Toomey 

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%.

In that context, the fact that Toomey trails by 2.6 points while Portman leads by 6.4 makes sense.

Ultimately, Sen. Toomey will have to target the college educated voters in PA’s Acela corridor in order to win his second term.

12 Responses

  1. It’s because Strickland is a 74-year old retread who has had so many surgeries and changed his hair implants so many times Ohio voters don’t recognize him.

  2. I have no idea of what’s going on here with Rob winning and Pat losing but I am expect the general election results reversed for November with Pat Toomey and Ted Strickland winning and Rob Portman and Katie McGinity losing.

  3. It’s because he sold out gun owners. It doesn’t fit the narrative but gun owners make up a substantial part of the electorate. No, we won’t vote for mccinty but we also won’t vote for him. Just look who has endorsed him.

  4. The Senator has a lacklustre campaign, no direction. Has he made strong statements against illegal immigration and open borders? Has he pointed out Katie will be a rubber stamp for the Clintons?

  5. What are they getting at with college degree demo, wealth? Pretty sure you can get a degree and still be clueless on politics and be informed without one.

  6. Galt –
    Casey was recently one of 11 dems to join republicans in trying to gut 4th amendment and voted for gmo labeling bill that passed.

  7. Pennsylvania is a dump for the most part but atleast it isn’t Ohio! That state is really in the pits.

  8. Actually if you ^^^ read the news every once in a while you would know that Senator Toomey is routinely named by his peers as one of the hardest working Senators in D.C. He also works across the aisle to find common ground better than 95 % of his peers. All of this is much unlike our other Senator who has done little after getting elected on daddy’s name.

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