Tales from the Trail

Reuters-Ipsos poll: Pennsylvania Senate race tied with one week left

The Pennsylvania Senate race has tightened up considerably a week before the Nov. 2 election and is likely to be hard fought to the end.

USA-ELECTIONS/Republican Pat Toomey, who had a 10 percentage point advangate among likely voters in August, is now locked in a tight race with Democrat Joe Sestak — tied at 46 percent, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

They are battling for the seat of Senator Arlen Specter who lost to Sestak in the Democratic primary. Pennsylvania is one of the key states that will determine whether Republicans can pick up the 10 Democratic seats they need to seize majority in the Senate.

The White House has been watching the latest polls on this race with great interest and President Barack Obama will visit Pennsylvania during his final campaign push this weekend with the aim of giving Sestak an added boost.

“There are only 6 percent remaining who are undecided so this race will most likely continue to be hard fought until election day,” Ipsos pollsters say.

Reuters/Ipsos poll: Republican leads in Pennsylvania for Specter’s Senate seat

Republicans have the momentum going into Election Day for the U.S. Senate seat held by Arlen Specter for three decades in Pennsylvania. USA/

A Reuters/Ipsos poll  of likely voters showed Republican Pat Toomey with a 10-point lead, 47-37 percent, over Democrat Joe Sestak. That gap narrowed among a broader pool of registered voters to 40-37 percent.

Sestak beat Specter in the Democratic primary after the senior senator from Pennsylvania turned Democrat in April 2009 ahead of his battle for re-election to the Senate seat he first won as a Republican 30 years ago. President Barack Obama had backed Specter.

Republicans still looking for answers about Sestak

Republicans want answers — and a little political mileage. The White House wants the whole thing to go away. And until somebody starts talking, neither side is going to get what they want.

On Wednesday, Republicans renewed their daily demand that Representative Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, and White House officials come clean about what Sestak said was a White House offer of a job if he dropped his primary challenge against Senator Arlen Specter. USA-POLITICS/

Sestak, who first made the allegation to a local interviewer three months ago and confirmed it in television interviews on Sunday, won the primary last week but has refused to provide any more details. The White House says only that it looked into the issue, and nothing inappropriate happened. But it won’t say what actually did happen, or who was involved.

The Day After: everyone’s got an opinion

Everyone’s got an opinion about what happened Tuesday when Senator Arlen Specter — long-term Republican, newly turned Democrat — lost the Pennsylvania primary, Tea Party candidate Ron Paul won the Senate Republican primary in Kentucky, and neither Democrat in the Arkansas Senate primary could muster 50 percent of the vote so they have to do it all over again in June.

USA-POLITICS/In all of the contests, there was only one person who won an actual seat in Congress on Tuesday night — Democrat Mark Critz who took the special election for the Pennsylvania district seat left vacant by the death of Rep. John Murtha earlier this year.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs @PressSec tweeted “Sort of says it all…” with a link to a Politico story headlined “The GOP’s special failure.”

Specter Loses, “Tea Party” Wins

specterIt’s curtains  for Arlen Specter’s career in the  U.S. Senate. The veteran senator from Pennsylvania  went down in defeat on Tuesday, losing to challenger Rep. Joe  Sestak in a tight race for the Democratic Senate nomination.

Specter’s loss makes him the latest incumbent to get the boot from  angry voters unhappy with just about everybody in Washington.

Specter has served in the Senate for 30 years but his political fortune may have been sealed last year when he switched party allegiance from Republican to Democrat.

Pennsylvania primary: undecideds may decide it

The Pennsylvania Democratic primary may end up decided by the undecideds.

Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak are vying for the Democratic vote in Tuesday’s primary, which will determine who  runs against the Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat in November. SPORT BASEBALL

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday shows the race is too close to call — with Sestak at 42 pecent versus Specter at 41 percent. Add to the mix 16 percent undecided and 25 percent saying they might change their mind, and the vote could go any which way.

“Sen. Arlen Specter has the party organization behind him, which should help with turnout. But Congressman Joe Sestak could benefit from the relatively large group of undecided voters.  Generally, incumbents don’t do all that well with undecideds, who are more likely to vote for the challenger or not vote,”  said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Final round in Specter vs. Sestak coming up

The final bell is about to ring in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary for the Senate — and it’s a nail-biter. Who will win the chance to run against the Republican in November?

USA-POLITICS/In one corner is Senator Arlen Specter who has 30 years in the Senate, but for the first time faces voters as a Democrat after switching parties last year.

In the other corner is Representative Joe Sestak who won his first election to Congress four years ago by unseating 20-year Republican incumbent Curt Weldon.