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Comm488 pennsylvania Comm488 pennsylvania Presentation Transcript

  • Pennsylvania: Midterm Elections Melissa Cheng, Kevin Pernick, Sean Gordon
  • The Candidates
    • Joe Sestak (D)
    • Pat Toomey (R)
  • Joe Sestak (D)
    • Born in Secane, Pennsylvania in 1951
    • Graduated from the US Naval Academy and has a Ph.D from Harvard
    • Member of the US Navy for 30 years, winning 3 distinguished service medals
    • Current member of the US House of Rep. serving in Pennsylvania’s 7 th district
    • Has a wife and daughter, and is a Roman-Catholic
    • Upsets Incumbent Arlen Specter in the Democratic Primary 53.8% to 46.2%
  • Pat Toomey (R)
    • Born in Providence, RI in 1961
    • Also a Harvard Graduate. Went on to work in banking and opened a restaurant with his two brothers
    • A member of the US House of Reps from 1999 to 2005, serving for Pennsylvania's 15 th district
    • Has a wife and 3 kids, and is also Roman-Catholic
    • Overwhelmingly won the Republican Primary against Peg Lusik, 81.4% to 18.6%
    • Toomey currently holds a 8 point lead over Sestak in the most recent Rasmussen Polls
  • Pennsylvania State Info
    • Leading industry: lawyers and law firms
    • Leader in financial and insurance industries
    • Home to fifty Fortune 500 companies
    • 6 th total gross state product in the nation: 553 billion (2008)
    • 17 th largest economy in the world
    • Home to GE and Hershey’s
    • Center to many urban manufacturing centers
    • However, most of the state is rural
    • Creates an interesting dichotomy that affects politics and economy
  • Population
    • 12, 604, 767
    • 85% White
    • 10.9% Black
    • 0.2% American Indian
    • 2.5% Asian
  • Political History: Voting Trends
    • Since Regan and Bush, PA has been leaning towards the blue. PA has been considered a swing state, (from 72-96, their state voted with the winning candidate) however, they have voted democratically in terms of the presidential election since 1988
    • In terms of the upcoming election, PA seems to be disgruntled with the Obama administration as a whole and this is can be seen through Toomey’s lead in the polls
  • Presidential Elections
    • 2008-Democrat
    • 2004-Democrat
    • 2000- Democrat
    • 1996- Democrat
    • 1992-Democrat
    • 1988-Republican
    • 1984- Republican
    • 1980- Republican
  • Senatorial Voter Registration: November 2006
  • Statewide Issues
    • Obviously the economy is a prominent issue, with 9% unemployment in January and growing
    • Possible deciding factor:
      • From RealClearPolitics: “Toomey’s economic conservatism isn’t a great match for this economically populist state. But in this year of tea parties, the more salient factor in the general election may be Sestak’s support of the Obama administration’s spending.”
    • The Philly suburbs have moved toward the Democrats, while Pittsburgh has moved toward the Republicans.
      • This indicates blue collar favors the more conservative candidate
      • Probably due to the fact that Toomey is a ‘taxpayers friend’ and is vehemently pro-life and has a strong pro-gun voting record
  • Media Coverage and Prevailing Storylines
    • Sestak has focused on attacking Toomey who he alleges has intentions to “eliminate corporate taxes altogether”. Their back and forth battle through TV ads has seen a lot of news time. Sestak has been defending these attack ads by questioning their honesty and credibility.
    • Sestak’s discussion on how he will “stand up” to his party have clouded the airwaves. While Sestak traditionally votes Democratic majority of the time, he has been trying to establish the fact that while he is a democrat, he is trying to always do the “right” thing. Many news sources have been trying to reconcile these messages with Sestak’s past actions.
    • Both Sestak and Toomey have been labeled as “extremists” in their own right. Both sides have accused the other of making outlandish decisions or having eccentric ideas. While this is certainly not the first time candidates have been called extremist, it’s interesting that there is coverage of both sides being considered as such.
    • CNN: GOP Pat Toomey has seven-point lead over Dem. Joe Sestak in latest survey (September 18-23)
    • Approval ratings of Obama is now only at 37%
    • FOX: Joe Biden and Obama both visited the state last week to support Sestak
    • Tea Party movement has broad support in the state:
      • 45% support
      • 35% oppose