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September 12, 2006
Zogby: Santorum Within Range

The internal poll leaked from the race for the Pennsylvania Senate seat late last week appears to have been accurate. According to a new Zogby poll, Rick Santorum has come from twenty points down to a 47-43 gap, almost within the poll's margin of error. Bob Casey, Jr has squandered a massive lead and has lost the momentum. In fact, Republicans have suddenly gained momentum almost across the board:

In two of the other hottest Senate contests this fall, vulnerable GOP incumbents have suddenly closed the gap on their challengers. Republicans Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Mike DeWine of Ohio, both of whom were down by wide margins essentially all year, have suddenly narrowed the edge of their Democratic challengers to four points. The survey shows that in Pennsylvania, the presence of third-party candidates suggests an even closer race, with left-wing candidates siphoning votes from moderate Democrat Bob Casey Jr. ...

The online polls of Senate and gubernatorial races in 26 states find Democrats, who began this election cycle hoping to capture the Republican-held House and Senate, losing ground in New Jersey. There, incumbent appointee Bob Menendez suddenly finds himself running dead-even with Republican Tom Kean Jr. Menendez had been leading since a June poll.

Democrats depended on winning Pennsylvania as part of their effort to win control of the Senate. At one time, it appeared that the Keystone State seat would drop into their laps, as Santorum's closeness to the Bush administration was deemed to be a millstone which would sink him. Rather than run against the White House, Santorum embraced it -- and the timing apparently worked. Bush's approval ratings have slowly climbed all year; Rasmussen now has him at 44%, the highest since mid-July. Casey's disastrous performance in their debate has had an effect on his own support.

The race in New Jersey poses a new problem for the Democrats. That seat had been considered fairly safe, with an incumbent and a fairly Democratic electorate. Menendez has had his own problems with campaigning, and the ethical problems of Governor Jon Corzine's appointee as Attorney General has given the Democrats a black eye. Thomas Kean, Jr has a well-known family name and a lot of energy -- and his opposition to Donald Rumsfeld probably didn't hurt, either.

Republicans may win both seats, or may win neither, but they have made both races much more competitive than the Democrats expected. This will force the Democrats to spend more money and effort, especially in New Jersey to hold what they already have, and distract them from other races -- not exactly what they'd hoped.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 12, 2006 6:14 AM

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» Zogby/WSJ: Opinion I from SantorumBlog
Outside of both sides criticizing Zogby’s polling techniques, there hasn’t been much in the way of opinions regarding the newest Zogby/WSJ Pa Senate race poll this week. Ed Morrissey writes… Democrats depended on winning Pennsylvania ... [Read More]

Tracked on September 12, 2006 10:43 AM

» November Looms... from HILLARYNEEDSAVACATION
Mr. Morris to be proved wrong once again? [Read More]

Tracked on September 12, 2006 1:17 PM


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