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Reader Poll: Who Should Dems Nominate for Senate in 2016?

Senator Pat Toomey
Senator Pat Toomey

Republican Senator Pat Toomey is up for re-election in 2016 and already a potentially strong Democratic field is forming to take him on. We want to know who you, the readers of PoliticsPA, think the Democrats should nominate in 2016.

One candidate has already made it crystal clear that he’s running, 2010 nominee and former Congressman Joe Sestak. Sestak announced he formed an exploratory committee all the way back in May. He is even winning endorsements for a race that is presumably over three years away, showing that the indefatigable ex-Admiral intends to get an early lead in this long footrace.

Meanwhile, political prognosticators have been increasingly turning their eyes towards Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Some were even speculating that Kane might try to take on Gov. Corbett in 2014, a mere two years after assuming office. As a result, focus has shifted to the 2016 Senate race and whether Kane will show any interest. It’s also worth noting that Kane defeated another former Congressman and early favorite, Patrick Murphy, in the 2012 AG primary.

A curve ball was thrown in the mix last month when it was reported that Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter may also be considering a bid. Apparently, a consulting firm with ties to the Mayor registered the domain names Nutter2016.com and NutterforSenate.com, a potential (and farsighted) sign that Nutter may be weighing a run.

And Rich Fitzgerald has shown himself to be a powerhouse as Allegheny County Executive.

So, we ask you, who do you think Democrats should nominate for Senate in 2016?

Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?


  • Less Likely (36%)
  • More Likely (34%)
  • Makes No Difference (30%)

Total Voters: 112

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19 Responses

  1. Corbett and Toomey are both finished. The GOP is one of the most self-destructive forces in America. Toomey has laid low recently, but his role in The Club for Growth (growth of the rich and powerful and everybody else be damned) will doom him.

  2. The Democrats should nominate Rendell.
    Smart, principled, knowledgeable and most of all entertaining. Frankly, most of the Senators are boring ala Bob Casey. For a strong policy wonk with a laugh a minute thrown in look no further than the Ed! CSPAN’S ratings would double with Rendell in the Senate and we would all be better informed because we would want to watch the Senate in action. I’m for Ed!

  3. Sestak looks like he wont this poll and pretty much won all of the Guv polls from earlier in this year. He seems to be a polarizing figure. Many love him, many hate him. But, in this poll he received 45% of the vote. That is impressive.

    The problem with this poll is that he is the only one of the “potential” candidates who will actually be ON the ballot in 2016!

  4. Hey David Diano, why the diatribe against Joe Sestak? It sounds as if you have waaaay too much time on your hands to be so negative about anyone. Perhaps you should look in the mirror to see if you can find anything positive about what you see!
    .

  5. Connie (no last name)

    If you think Sestak would be a good Senator for PA Dems then you are as clueless as Bruce (no last name).

    True Blue-
    I don’t trust Schwartz on issues like NSA and privacy, though she’d certainly be an improvement over Toomey (but then again, so would a dead cat).

    I think Nutter and Murphy are not going to rise any higher politically. Murphy is damaged good after Kane cleaned his clock. Nutter’s become too unpopular in Philly.

  6. I couldn’t agree more Bruce. Little Dave Diano REALLY needs to get over himself. No one cares about his petty vendetta with Joe Sestak!!! Joe would be an awesome senator!! We all should be so lucky!

  7. Why did I vote for Nutter? Because I think that Toomey is a pragmatic conservative who deserves to be re-elected.

  8. I agree with Lisa in that I’d much rather seen he challenge Toomey in 2016. A ticket with Hilary, Schwartz and Kane would be a dream come true.

    Murphy, Nutter and Shapiro would be nice options as well. Plus any candidate in the 2014 guvs race that loses the primary but makes a strong showing should be an ideal contender as well.

    I agree with David Diano that any Dem but Joe Sestak. He would be by far the worst option.

  9. I wish Allyson Schwartz had decided to run for Senate instead of Governor. In a Presidential year, her voting record would not be as much of an issue as it will be next year.

  10. Some great names already mentioned… Pending Gov’s race, how about Allyson Schwartz or Rob McCord? The Club for Growth has badly damaged itself politically (ACA, etc.), Toomey is vulnerable and the Dems have an embarrassment of riches in terms of electable candidates…

  11. How about Josh Shapiro or Mike Stack? Each seems a much stronger candidate than Michael Nutter and more likely to run than Fitzgerald or Kane, who is herself up for reelection that year.

  12. DelcoProgressive-

    In a presidential year, we can put in a GOOD Democrat instead of Sestak. We could have one who could serve for more than one term, instead of blowing more millions on Sestak for a single term.

  13. While everyone continues to ignore David Diano’s frothing at the mouth…

    Sestak is a strong candidate. If he only lost by 2% in a Republican wave year like 2010, I’m sure he will win comfortably in a presidential year like 2016 — especially with Hillary on the top of the ticket.

  14. Bruce-
    Once Sestak loses in 2016, his political career will be over and he can stop pretending he lives in PA, and stay in Virginia. We complained about Santorum pulling this crap of not really living in PA and living in Virginia, so we shouldn’t give Sestak a pass.

    Beyond that, he’s a TERRIBLE Democrat. More precisely, he’s not a Democrat at all, but merely pretends to be one to gullible audiences.

    Bruce, do you realize how much Democratic money this poser has cost us, for so little in return? I put the figure around $20 million and the loss of a congressional seat, and at least one (maybe two) Senate seats. (A fraction of the additional money spent on PA Senate race by DSCC due to Sestak could have saved the seat of Russ Feingold.)

    What did we “get” from Sestak? A one-term congressman. (He spent his entire second term campaigning, so no value there.) In his first term, he voted twice for Bush’s Iraq War spending, in complete contradiction to his primary campaign promise to demand accountability in Iraq.

    Sestak has been a blight on the party. If he managed to get elected to the Senate, it would be for only one term (as Sestak himself ruled out a run in 2022). How many millions are Dems going to spend to get a one term Senator, who would never be held accountable to the voters, and have to fight for an open seat in 2022?

    Better to put in a candidate who can stay for a few terms and have to face the voters and defend his/her actions in 2022.

    Roger- Murphy is old news. He got beat (badly) by a girl. 🙂 The guy couldn’t even win back his own congressional seat, and he lost a statewide primary. Pat’s a nice guy, but he’s got boyish grin and a boyish attitude to match. He’s got no real “vision”. He wanted to be AG so he could run for Gov. That’s not “vision”. That’s ambition seeking a shortcut.

    As for Shapiro, he’s got the brains for complex legal/political issues, he’s a hard worker, his star in on the rise, he’s a good fundraiser, he’s well liked in the party, he’s got good bipartisan credentials, and he’s got a good track record in Montco. I’d pit him against Sestak any day.

  15. I hope it will be Joe Sestak, but I do believe that either Josh Shapiro or Patrick Murphy will get in the race.

  16. David, when are you going to give up your one man bashing parade of Sestak, and get a Life!

  17. Who came up with this list?

    The 2nd place finisher in the Dem Gov primary would be a natural candidate for this list. So, “McCord or Schwartz” should be listed (as one entry). 🙂

    Also, there was a poll a few months back and rising stars, like Montco’s Josh Shapiro, were on list of potential statewide candidates.

    I think Kane would be a tremendous candidate and Senator for our state, but it’s not clear she has any interest in Senate.

    Nutter? While I certainly considered him a potential statewide candidate a few years ago, he’s so unpopular right now, he’d be lucky to get elected dog-catcher.

    I’m going to have to vote: “Anyone but Sestak”. 🙂

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  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?


    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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