Tuesday, September 7, 2010

8 Weeks to Go. Have Voters Noticed?

Labor Day used to be the unofficial start to the fall election campaign, but experts say that’s not really the case anymore.
Campaigns used to never hit the ground until after Labor Day, but all four statewide candidates have been running for more than a year.
Republican Pat Toomey announced his Senate campaign in April – of 2009.
In contrast, most voters don’t start paying attention to state campaigns until the fall.
Democratic strategist Larry Ceisler says it will be at least another month before most Pennsylvanians start weighing their choices.

"Labor Day would be an early tune in for them. I think the way things are going, they may not tune into the governor’s race until two or three weeks out."

Democrats trail in both the gubernatorial and Senate race, but Republican consultant Ray Zaborney argues they’ll have a tough time making up ground over the next two months.

"I think the problem for Dan Onorato, especially, and Joe Sestak, is, how do you undo the enthusiasm gap? Both from the national trends, but also from the strong campaign both Corbett and Toomey have run. I mean, if you look at every survey Republicans are counting down the days to vote, and Democrats seem to be disheartened."

Democratic strategist Ceisler says it’s a mistake for the party to focus on how GOP candidates would “return to President Bush’s policies,” as Sestak’s campaign has been doing. Both men agree voter enthusiasm and turnout will be key, in determining who wins the two races.

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