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- Top Races to Watch in 2016: The Mountain Region
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Updated Oct. 14, 2010
Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) has shown signs of pulling away from Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in the weeks leading up to the general election in a race once thought to be among the nation's premier Senate contests.
Look for that trend to continue, so long as President Barack Obama's popularity struggles in this largely blue-collar state where the health of the economy may determine election outcomes as much as the candidates.
But don't write off Sestak, who was once thought to trail Specter by double digits in the weeks leading up to the Democratic primary. He trailed Toomey by 5 to 8 points in various public polls released in late September.
Both campaigns will spend heavily in the race, which has attracted steady attention from the president and third-party groups, such as the Club For Growth, which Toomey led from 2005 to 2009.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is set to outspend its Republican counterpart 3-to-1, if it follows through with its reserved TV time.
Toomey will fight the perception that he is too close to Wall Street. And Sestak, like most Democrats in Congress, will fight to persuade frustrated Democrats and independents not to abandon his party.
But as long as the president's favorables hover around 40 percent, as recent polling shows, Sestak may struggle regardless of his strategy.
U.S. Senate Delegation: 2 Democrats, 1 Republican
U.S. House Delegation:
Sen. Arlen Specter-D
First Elected: 1980 (5th term)
Last Elected: 2004 (52.62%)
Governor: Tom Corbett, R
First Elected: 2010 (1st term)
State House Control: Democratic
State Senate Control: Republican
|2010||general||Patrick Toomey (R)||2,028,945||51%|
|Joe Sestak (D)||1,948,716||49%|
|2004||general||Arlen Specter (R)||2,925,080||52.6%|
|Joseph Hoeffel (D)||2,334,126||42%|
|James Clymer (CNSTP)||220,056||4%|
|Betsy Summers (LIBERT)||79,263||1.4%|
|1998||general||Arlen Specter (R)||1,814,180||61.3%|
|Bill Lloyd (D)||1,028,839||34.8%|
|Dean Snyder (CONSTL)||68,377||2.3%|
|Jack Iannantuono (LIBERT)||46,103||1.6%|
|1992||general||Arlen Specter (R)||2,358,125||49.1%|
|Lynn Yeakel (D)||2,224,966||46.3%|
|John F. Perry III (LIBERT)||219,319||4.6%|
|1986||general||Arlen Specter (R)||1,906,537||56.4%|
|Robert Edgar (D)||1,448,219||42.9%|
|1980||general||Arlen Specter (R)||2,230,404||50.5%|
|Peter Flaherty (D)||2,122,391||48%|
|Linda Mohrbacher (SW)||27,229||0.6%|
|David K. Walter (LIBERT)||18,595||0.4%|
|Lee Frissell (CON)||16,089||0.4%|
|Frank Kinces (COM)||3,334||0.1%|
|2012 +||:||Newt Gingrich:|
|2008||Barack Obama: 54.65%||John McCain: 44.3%|
|2004||John Kerry: 51%||George W. Bush: 48%|
|2000||Al Gore: 51%||George W. Bush: 46%|