A new poll of Pennsylvania is the perfect case study for why and how Democrats are in a perfect position to take back the Senate majority in November.
The Monmouth University poll of Pennsylvania provided some insight into the state’s key US Senate race:
As with the presidential race, Pennsylvania is starting to look like one of the Democratic Party’s better hopes for picking up a U.S. Senate seat. Challenger Katie McGinty currently has a 45% to 41% lead over GOP incumbent Pat Toomey, with 6% giving their support to Libertarian Edward Clifford and 8% who are undecided. McGinty has the support of 85% of Democrats while Toomey has the backing of 81% of Republicans. Independents prefer Toomey by a 41% to 29% margin, with 18% choosing Clifford.
The Monmouth University Poll also found that 15% of voters think Toomey has been too supportive of Trump, 19% say he has not been supportive enough, and 28% say Toomey has given his party’s nominee the right amount of support. Another 38% offer no opinion on this. Turning to the Democrats, 17% of voters think McGinty has been too supportive of Clinton, 5% say she has not been supportive enough, and 43% say McGinty has given her party’s nominee the right amount of support. Another 35% offer no opinion on this.
Pat Toomey’s job approval rating isn’t bad. He is in net positive (+8) territory with a job approval split of 43%/35%. On a personal level, voters are split 32%/30% on Toomey, but the reason why he is losing is that Sen. Toomey is trapped in the quagmire that is Donald Trump.
Nearly half of the electorate (47%) can’t decide whether Toomey supports Trump too little or too much. Only 28% say that Toomey has given Trump the correct amount of support. In contrast, Democratic challenger Katie McGinty is poised to ride the wave with Hillary Clinton as more Pennsylvania voters say that McGinty has given Clinton the right amount of support than any other option.
It isn’t necessarily that Pennsylvania voters want Sen. Toomey gone, but that Trump is an anchor on his reelection chances. Pat Toomey may lose his seat because Hillary Clinton is solidly beating Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. Toomey has tried to straddle the fence with Trump, but that decision may result in Democrats taking back control of the Senate in November.
Pennsylvania is not unique. What Republicans fear most is that a Clinton rout of Trump will wash their incumbents out of office. The Monmouth University Poll is the perfect case study for how this could happen all across the country. Some Republicans are destined to be swept out office if a Clinton wave builds because Donald Trump may be turning what could have been a competitive election into a Democratic year.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association